November 18, 2021

The required face shield ordinance has been lifted in two cities in Eastern Visayas.

Days before President Rodrigo Duterte’s instruction, at least two city governments in Eastern Visayas issued an executive order eliminating the mandatory usage of face shields.

Beginning Nov. 8, Catbalogan City, Samar Mayor Dexter Uy said that residents will no longer be forced to wear face shields when entering business establishments, offices, or public or open spaces.

The public, on the other hand, is still required to observe established health regulations such as wearing face masks and physical separation, being subjected to temperature checks while entering a business or office, and having quarantine passes scanned.

Minimum health protocols violators would be penalized at least PHP1,000.

The order also allows business owners to continue operating as long as all of their personnel have been completely vaccinated.

If all participants are completely vaccinated, the 50 percent restriction on public gatherings can be increased.

Operators and drivers must also be fully vaccinated while renewing their public transportation licenses and franchises.

On Nov. 9, Mayor Richard Gomez of Ormoc City issued a similar edict, removing the requirement to use face shields in enclosed venues.

“While face shields are not necessary while entering business places such as malls and banks, face masks and physical separation are still essential,” Gomez said in a statement.

It is, however, still required for people using enclosed public transportation, such as transport vans and air-conditioned buses.

The city has also ceased scanning QR codes at its borders, but it is still required when entering a business or office.

Non-vaccinated visitors entering the city through the Ormoc port must provide a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours.

The municipal government also authorizes 50 percent capacity for indoor contact sports and 70 percent capacity for outdoor contact sports.

“Ormoc residents may participate in contact sports with the prior approval of the village where such games will be held, provided that the same village supervises and monitors said activities to ensure compliance with health protocols, and provided further that all persons entering the venue who are 18 years of age or older must present their vaccination card,” Gomez added.

The EO also permits amusement parks, playgrounds, and children’s playrooms to operate at 50 percent inside capacity and 70 percent outdoor capacity.

Before the President approved the suggestion of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to suspend the mandatory use of face shields in areas under Alert Level 1 to 3 on Nov. 15, the two local government executives issued their directive.

As Covid-19 instances continue to fall, all six provinces in the region, including Tacloban City, the regional capital, are on alert level 2.

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