Return of Face Shields in Metro Up to Health Experts: MMDA

As Omicron threat of Omicron variant looms.
Photo/s: Ted Aljibe, Agence France-Presse

Metro Manila mayors will defer to health experts before deciding on the possible reimposition of the face shield rule to thwart the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the MMDA said Tuesday.

The capital region of 12 million people is under Alert Level 2, the second lowest quarantine classification wherein wearing of face shields is voluntary. Mayors have not formally discused a change in policy after the requirement was removed last Nov. 16, MMDA Chairman Benjamin Abalos said.

"Depende 'to sa sasabihin sa amin ng experts. If the experts will tell us na kailangan, sige. Why not? Kung sasabihin naman nila na hindi kailangan, okay lang din but we need guidance from them," Abalos told reporters.

Health Sec. Francisco Duque III has endorsed the revival of the face shield mandate as the Philippines prepares for the entry of the Omicron variant that was first detected in South Africa.

Until quarantine rules were eased in mid-November, Filipinos have endured wearing of face shields on top of face masks for a year. However, the threat of the Omicron variant has prompted the government to revive stricter COVID-19 restrictions, particularly in terms of travel to thwart its spread.

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So far, the Philippines has yet to report any case of the Omicron variant but Duque had said that its arrival in the country is only a matter of "when."


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