Palace: Businesses under Alert Levels 1 to 3 may still require face shields

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 19) — The Inter-Agency Task Force has clarified that the wearing of face shields may still be mandatory in areas under Alert Levels 1 to 3 upon the discretion of business establishments.

Acting presidential and task force spokesperson Karlo Nograles said employers and business owners have the option to impose the face shield policy within their premises.

"With regard to the voluntary use of face shields, [....] it is hereby clarified that the same is without prejudice to employers still requiring their use for their employees and/or customers," Nograles said, citing the latest IATF Resolution No. 149.

The announcement comes just four days after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the task force to scrap the controversial requirement in areas under the lower COVID-19 alert levels.

Those on Alert Level 4 may keep or lift the mandatory use of face shield, while it is automatically required in health care facilities, and areas under Alert Level 5 and granular lockdowns.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea released the memorandum on Monday, Nov. 15, which took effect immediately.

Some lawmakers and experts have long questioned the face shield policy. A wind engineer from the University of the Philippines earlier said face shields could trap airborne particles of COVID-19.