President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on September 28, 2020. RICHARD MADELO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

There will be no face-to-face classes up to the high school level until after the country finishes its mass Covid-19 vaccination program.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque announced this on Monday, citing an order from President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Nagdesisyon na po ang presidente: wala pa rin po tayong face-to-face classes sa bansa,” Roque said in a media briefing.

“Tumawag po kagabi ang presidente sa akin at ang sabi niya, ayaw po niyang malagay sa panganib o alanganin ang buhay ng ating mga mag-aaral at mga guro habang wala pa pong nababakunahan sa bansa,” he added.

Roque also revealed that the president might allow in-person classes by August.

“Sabi niya, ‘may awa po ang Panginoon,’ baka naman po pagkatapos nating malunsad ang ating vaccination program ay pupuwede na tayong mag-face-to-face sa Agosto ‘no lalung-lalo na doon sa mga lugar na mababa po ang Covid cases,” he said.

The presidential spokesman stressed that face-to-face classes in medical and allied medical degrees earlier allowed by the country’s pandemic task force would not be affected by Duterte’s recent order.

Areas with low Covid-19 cases were supposed to conduct a dry-run for the resumption of face-to-face classes in January, but Duterte put the plan to a halt due to the UK variant of Covid-19. John Ezekiel J. Hirro