(File Photo)

The use of face shields in public places in Puerto Princesa is no longer required under the city’s downgraded Level 2 quarantine status.

This was announced Monday by the City Inter-Agency Task Force, along with the release of other local guidelines easing restrictions on business establishments and the movement of people.

“Ang face shield ay sa ngayon ay optional na,” City IATF spokesperson Norman Yap stated Tuesday.

He clarified l, however, that private establishments may choose to continue enforcing the requirement if they think it essential.

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“Ang mga establishment ay may discretion sakaling gustuhin nila na i-require pa rin yong face shield sa mga pumapasok sa tanggapan na mga private establishment,” he said.

“As of today (November 22), wearing of face shield is optional kasi nasa Alert Level 2 tayo,” he added.

The city government, however, also clarified that the current policies cover specifically the current period from November 22 to November 30.

SM Puerto Princesa was the first among other large establishments in the city to declare that face shields would no longer be required within its premises.

Public relations officer Russell Fernandez said that the national guidelines on face shields will be followed unless the city government issues exceptions or additions.

“Yes, [face shields] are not required na. As of now, we [will] just follow the national guidelines until [the] LGU releases exceptions,” Fernandez told Palawan News in a text message.

Robinson’s Place Palawan and NCCC Mall followed, and also issued announcements dropping their face shield policy effective Monday, November 22.

The NCCC Mall, for its part, said it will no longer require face shield wearing even as it encouraged its customers to do so voluntarily.

Close-crowded or close-contact settings
Bars, clubs, cinemas, arcades, amusement parks, karaoke bars, and internet cafes are now allowed to operate, according to the City IATF.

Yap said establishments in indoor settings must operate at a maximum of 50% venue capacity, while outdoor establishments may operate at 70% venue capacity.

Yap said these venues need to have fully vaccinated staff against COVID-19, have obtained safety seal certifications, follow minimum health standards, and that the LGU is not objecting to their operations.

“Yon ang binabantayan sa Alert Level 2 at mahigpit na nire-regulate. Kung wala sa listahan ay free to operate,” he said.

“Kung indoor kayo, dapat maximum of 50% lang ang venue capacity, at dapat ang workers and customers ay fully vaccinated, maliban na lang kung may mga 18 years old and below, ay hindi ire-require na [fully vaccinated],” Yap added.

The only remaining prohibited operations under Alert Level 2 are casinos, cockfighting events, lottery and betting shops, and other gambling establishments. Contact sports events also remain prohibited.

Establishments that cater to contact sports are still now allowed to operate, Yap stated.

Slide showing the conditions for certain establishments to be allowed to operate.

Slide showing what are establishments allowed to operate.

Slide showing that establishments offering contact sports are not allowed.

Movement of minors, senior citizens
Under Alert Level 2, minors and senior citizens are already allowed to go out of their residences unless the local government unit (LGU) will impose restrictions.

They’re allowed if obtaining essential goods and services; working in permitted industries; participating in tourism specialized markets for point-to-point travel and staycation (seniors must be fully vaccinated), and individual outdoor exercises but must ensure strict compliance with minimum health standards.

“Sa katatapos lang na City IATF meeting, ang naging desisyon po ng ating LGU ay i-adopt lang muna natin yong sabi ng Alert Level System (ALS) guidelines na kung Alert Level 2, walang restrictions sa minors and senior citizen. So, hindi tayo nagdadagdag ng restriction, in-adopt natin as is kung ano yong default ng level system,” he said.

“Sa madaling salita, puwede nang lumabas ang minor, puwede nang lumabas si lolo,” Ligad added.

“Between now and November 30,” added Yap, citing the “trial period” on the movement of minors and senior citizens is 8 days.

Current travel requirements and protocols remain unchanged (travel requirements can be viewed from the CIO page), according to Yap. He added that this is because this was what the regional IATF approved in a prior request, which will remain in place until the end of the month.

“Maaaring mag-relax pa tayo ng travel guidelines, pero ayokong pangunahan ang IATF. Lagi naman yan nasa agenda, kung ano ang magiging protocol natin this December. Maraming possibilities. Puwedeng lumuwag, pero puwede ring maghigpit,” he said in a live briefing on Monday.

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