Face shields can be removed when outdoors, says DOH exec
MANILA, Philippines — Face shields may not be worn when outdoors as the risk of transmitting COVID-19 in such a setting is low, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.
Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega was responding to a query as to whether workers who are working outdoors, such as construction workers and couriers, can be exempted from the mandatory face shield policy since the personal protective equipment poses a challenge to their jobs.
Vega said face shields should be worn when individuals are in an indoor setting such as inside shopping malls but can be removed when outdoors.
“Ang face shields, kailangan naman talaga ‘yan pag nasa indoor ka, nasa mall ka, or kapag may interaction ka face-to-face inside,” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(Face shields are needed when you are indoors, when you are in a mall, or if you have a face-to-face interaction indoors.)
“Pero kapag nasa outside naman kasi, alam naman natin na the risk of transmission is very low lalung lalo na kapag naglalakad ka lang sa kalye o magta-trabaho ka kasi maka-affect ‘yung moist (moisture) nito so pwede ninyo tanggalin ‘yan,” he added.
(But if you’re outside, we know that the risk of transmission is very low, especially if you’re only walking down the street or working, so you can remove that.)
“Pero kapag pumasok kayo sa indoors kailangan may face shield kasi ito ‘yung ating proteksyon na hindi kayo makatransmit o mahawaan kayo,” Vega continued.
(But if you go indoors, you need to wear face shields because this serves as your protection from getting or transmitting COVID-19.)
In December last year, the government’s pandemic task force required the public to wear both face shields and face masks at all times whenever outdoors.
Duque, in a Senate hearing on Tuesday, said the government’s pandemic task force has not yet considered dropping the use of face shields as a requirement despite calls to do away with the requirement.
This means that for the moment, the use of face shields will remain mandatory as an “added protection” to the public while not enough people have been vaccinated.