Manila – The Philippines Government is now requiring people to wear face shields in addition to masks in all indoor commercial establishments, such as shopping malls.
The decision has widened an initial directive covering only workplaces and public transport.
The additional requirement was imposed as the government eased coronavirus restrictions around the country in a bid to open up the economy, which was technically in recession after contracting 16.5 per cent in the second quarter.
According to the Presidential Spokesman, Harry Roque, face shields should be worn in enclosed commercial establishments such as malls.
Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said the face shield directive was effective nationwide in all levels of lockdown or community quarantine protocols.
“Whether we are under the less-stringent general community quarantine or the strict enhanced community quarantine or moderate general community quarantine, we need to wear face shields in all commercial areas,” she said.
The policy only initially covered drivers and passengers on public transport as well as employees in their workplaces.
The Department of Health has noted that local studies showed that the use of face shields on top of the masks, coupled with frequent hand washing, provides additional protection against novel coronavirus infection.
The department said Philippines total number of infections stood at 178,022, with 2,883 deaths on Thursday.
The country currently has the largest caseload in South-East Asia, and health experts have warned of more infections as additional industries and services were allowed to resume operations, even at reduced capacity.