Face shields required for public transport passengers starting August 15

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 5) — Passengers using any mode of public transportation are required to wear face shields on top of face masks starting August 15, the Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

Ipatutupad po natin ang mandatong ito sa lahat ng pampublikong sasakyan tulad ng sa mga tren, bus, jeepney, taxi, passengers vessels at maging sa eroplano,” DOTr Undersecretary for Administrative Affairs Artemio Tuazon, Jr. said in a statement.

[Translation: We will implement this mandate in all public vehicles including trains, buses, jeepneys, taxis, passenger vessels and even in airplanes.]

He reminded the public that the protective shield should cover the entire face, meaning goggles and other eyewear will not do.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade appealed to the passengers not to look at the new order as an additional expense, saying “no amount of protection is too much when it comes to health and safety.”

The DOTr said the directive applies to all public transportation throughout the country.

Various transportation sectors have been informed of the mandatory wearing of face shields through a memorandum circular on Tuesday. Government officials last week said face shields are highly encouraged – and may soon be required – to be worn in public as additional protection since the coronavirus is spread through respiratory droplets.

The virus can enter the body through the nose, mouth, and even the eyes, prompting health authorities to advise frequent handwashing, wearing of face masks in public, and physical distancing.

READ: Should we all be wearing goggles or face shields?

The Philippines now has more than 112,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with over 66,000 recoveries and 2,115 deaths.

Health workers have sounded the alarm over the unabated rise in infections, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to impose a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal until August 18. Public transportation is suspended under MECQ, while limited operations are allowed in areas under more relaxed quarantine measures.