The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) earlier this week ruled directed the public to wear full face shields—meaning that it should cover the entire face from forehead to chin—whenever leaving the home.
Those found in violation of the rule will be penalized based on the sanctions imposed by their respective local government units.
“It’s really because of the possibility that a surge can happen during the holidays,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. “It’s an additional protection to prevent the surge.”
Face shields were previously only mandatory when riding public transport, commercial spaces like shopping malls or other venues like government offices. Wearing them in other settings was only just “highly discouraged.”
Face masks, however, have been mandatory since April. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention in an advisory said that masks are prescribed as a barrier to prevent respiratory particles from getting in the air and reaching others when the wearer coughs, sneezes, talks or even just raises their voice.
However, they cannot replace face masks, given their large gaps under and on either side of the face.
“At this time, we do not know how much protection a face shield provides to people around you,” it said in the same advisory. It added that face shields should wrap around one’s face and reach below the chin.
As of writing, over 450,000 have been sickened and nearly 9,000 have died due to the disease.