Filipinos are "encouraged" to wear face shields, Malacanang said Monday, as governments worldwide rethink their pandemic control strategies to thwart the spread of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.
Face shields provide an additional layer of protection, Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said. The government last Nov. 16 made wearing face shields voluntary after requiring its wearing in public spaces for a year.
"I would like to encourage our kababayans na magsuot ng face shield kung kaya naman po," Nograles told reporters.
MORE ON OMICRON VARIANT:
Interior Sec. Eduardo Año said the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 response has yet to include in its agenda the possible return of the face shield policy.
"Ang policy naman natin sa face shield ay based sa current alert level which is also applicable even with Omicron presence," Año told reportr in a text message.
The Philippines earlier this month eased its policy on the use of face shields, limiting its mandatory use in medical and quarantine facilities, and areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 5.
For areas under Alert Level 4, local government units have the power to impose the use of face shields. The use of the gear however is voluntary in areas under Alert Level 3 and lower.
So far, the Philippines has yet to report any case of the Omicron variant first detected in South Africa. Manila has banned flights from countries that have reported cases of the new virus variant in response to the threat.
MORE ON FACE SHIELDS: