ADDED PROTECTION. Starting August 15, public transport commuters and drivers are required to use face shield, aside from face mask, as an added layer of protection against coronavirus. // File image


The use of face shields will soon be mandatory for passengers and drivers of public transportation to curb the transmission of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

In a media bulletin on Wednesday, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the new policy would start on August 15 (Saturday), on top of the current mandatory wearing of face masks.

“The initiative aims to further reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in public transport facilities as health authorities have pointed out that the use of face shields and masks reduces exposure to and emission of respiratory droplets considerably,” the DOTr said.

The directive is applicable to all public transportation in the country including the aviation sector, airports, railway transport, road transport, and the maritime sector, it said.

In a message, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the policy was earlier circulated internally among executives of the DOTr and its attached agencies through the issuance of memorandum circular 2020-014 signed by DOTr Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon Jr. on August 3.

In the bulletin, Tuazon said the face shield worn inside public transport should “sufficiently cover the nose and mouth.”

“We advise that our passengers use the ones that cover the whole face,” Tuazon said.

While the new requirement will incur some cost for public transport commuters, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the face shield would add an extra layer of protection against Covid-19.

“Huwag sana nating isipin na panibagong gastusin o dagdag abala ang pag-require natin sa paggamit ng (Let us not think of this as an additional expense or inconvenience when using a) face shield. Let us remember that no amount of protection is too much when it comes to health and safety,” Tugade said.

Aside from mandatory wearing of face shields, the DOTr said other preventive measures against Covid-19 remain such as mandatory wearing of face masks, safe physical distancing measures, and hand washing or sanitizing.

It added that talking or using mobile phones inside all public transportation is also discouraged. (PNA)