Wearing of face masks at home, face shields in public encouraged

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10) — Several officials are encouraging the use of face masks at home and face shields in public to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but said it's unlikely that government will make them mandatory.

Members of the country's task force against COVID-19 on Monday recommended the use of face masks at home after health officials record clusters of coronavirus cases in households. The Department of Health said people exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and members of the vulnerable sectors — such as the elderly, pregnant women, and those with preexisting medical conditions — are urged to wear face masks even inside their houses to protect other members of the household.

National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chairman Delfin Lorenzana said there is no need to impose this rule on a national basis as it is the "responsibility of the home owners."

The national government will also not issue a directive requiring face shields in public. However, Lorenzana said government agencies, local government units, and private companies are free to issue this guidance as an added health safety protocol.

'Yung minimum kasi natin sa IATF is only face mask sa labas. So we will maintain that, hindi natin gagawing mandatory 'yung face shield," he said.

[Translation: In the Inter-Agency Task Force, the minimum health standard is to wear a mask in public, we will maintain that. We will not make wearing of face shields mandatory.]

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also said they are studying the impact of requiring face shields as it is an added cost to Filipinos.

The Philippine government has required the use of face masks in public places, with fines imposed on those caught without masks.

Transportation officials last week also announced that face shields will be required in public vehicles starting August 15. The municipality of Pateros mandated its use in public spaces too.