All passengers using any mode of public transportation will be required to wear face shields, aside from face masks effective Aug. 5, the Department of Transportation said Wednesday.
The initiative aims to further reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus.
“Let us remember that no amount of protection is too much when it comes to health and safety, especially that we are battling an invisible enemy,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said. “What we are addressing is not a transport issue but rather a health issue.”
The directive applies to all public transportation by land, air or sea, throughout the country.
Transportation Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon Jr. Said the face shield should sufficiently cover the nose and mouth.
“There are visors or goggles that protect only the eye area. We advise our passengers to use the ones that cover the whole face. It’s actually meant as a redundancy of the protection of the face mask,” Tuazon said.
AirAsia Philippines said its passengers will be required to wear face shields throughout their entire flight following the government’s latest announcement.
In line with the directives, all Cebu Pacific passengers will be required to wear face shields during the entire flight, effective August 15, the airline said in a statement.
This is on top of the mandatory use of face masks upon entering the airport terminal until arrival at the destination, CEB said.
“CEB continues to implement enhanced bio-security preventive measures to keep our passengers and personnel safe. These safety measures include daily extensive cleaning and disinfection protocols for all aircraft and facilities, rapid antibody testing for all frontliners and crew and contactless flight procedures These are based on global best practices, and adhere to the highest safety standards,” it said.
Also on Wednesday, the Commission on Higher Education said it is eyeing the resumption of in-person classes in areas classified as low-risk modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by January.
CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has adopted a policy that allows in-person or face-to-face classes in the lowest classification of community quarantine.
Schools will need to comply with health protocols and guidelines set by the commission and local governments, De Vera said.
“Even if this was approved by the IATF, realistically, the rollout would be on the second semester because of the health situation we have right now,” De Vera said at a Senate hearing.
De Vera said he would be checking how colleges and universities will reconfigure their classrooms to comply with health standards.
The commission will pick a prototype of a reconfigured classroom that other schools can adopt, he added.
President Duterte has approved the conduct of in-person classes in areas with low risk of COVID-19 transmission starting January 2021.
Presidential spokesma nHarry Roque said Duterte allowed the resumption of in-person classes next year on the assumption that a COVID-19 vaccine would be available by then.