President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night prohibited children aged 10-14 years old from going out of their homes, citing the threat of the new COVID-19 virus variant.
Duterte said he was "compelled" to defer the implementation of the government pandemic task force's decision, easing age-based mobility restrictions starting Feb. 1.
"Pasensya na po kayo. Mine is just a precaution. Takot lang ako kasi yung bagong strain [variant] strikes the children," Duterte said.
Malacañang earlier announced the easing of restrictions for 10-14-year-olds in areas under MGCQ or the lowest quarantine.
Previously, only those aged 15 to 65 can leave their homes for essentials. The window was narrower at the start of the quarantines last year, 21 to 59.
Health authorities discourage children from going out of their homes since they could be silent carriers of the virus.