Marcos signs EO making use of face mask optional outdoors

More than two years into the pandemic, the Philippine government has now lifted its mandated use of face mask in select outdoor settings.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed an executive order allowing the voluntary use of face masks when outdoors, Malacañang said Monday, September 12.

In a Palace briefing, Press Secretary Trixie-Cruz Angeles said the wearing of face masks is now optional in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation.

“Naglabas tayo today ng EO No. 3 allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings and reiterating the continued implementation of minimum public health standards during the state of public health emergency relating to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Angeles.

Angeles also clarified the new rule excludes indoor, private, or public stores, “including in public transportation modes by land, air or sea, and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.”

However, senior citizens, immunocompromised individuals, and those who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 “are strongly encouraged” to continue wearing face masks.

This comes after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) recommended easing the government’s face mask policy.

Nationwide, over 72 million individuals have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while 18.2 million have received booster shots

Thumbnail photo made via Canva

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