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Davao City Scraps Mandatory Face Shield Rule, Now Only Voluntary

As the IATF looks to relax the national policy.
by Pia Regalado
Nov 3, 2021
Photo/s: Ted Aljibe, Agence France-Presse

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Tuesday said face shields in crowded, confined and close-contact spaces will be voluntary, as the national government discussed whether the national policy on mandatory wearing of the plastic gear should be relaxed.

President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter signed the order Tuesday, with immediate effectivity. A copy of the directive was posted on the city public information office's Facebook page.

Davao City, with a population of roughly 1.7 million is under Alert Level 3, the third highest under a three-step quarantine classification system. It allows most businesses to operate including restaurants, gyms and salons.

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READ: Do Face Shields Expire? Here's What the DOH Says

The wearing of face shields on top of face masks in all public places was first made mandatory in December last year as the country prepared for possible spikes in COVID-19 cases post-Christmas and New Year. 

In September, President Rodrigo Duterte removed the face shield requirement in outdoor areas but kept it in places with high risk of COVID-19 transmission. Cases have gone down since the surge driven by the Delta variant in the third quarter. On Tuesday, the country recorded 2,303 COVID-19 cases, the lowest since January.

Unless revised by the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, face shields are mandatory in so-called 3Cs -- crowded, close contact and confined spaces.

Crowded places, or those where mass gatherings are held, include swab and vaccination sites, evacuation centers and aid distribution sites. Close contact settings are those where individuals are within six feet of each other for 15 minutes or longer. Confined and enclosed spaces are indoor structures without open windows.

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