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    Marcos OKs optional use of face mask outdoors

    MANILA, Philippines – The wearing of face mask outdoors is now optional, according to an Executive Order signed on Monday, September 12.

    Marcos OKs optional use of face mask outdoors
    President Ferdinand Marcos Jr signed EO No. 3 allowing the voluntary use of face masks in outdoor settings | Photo Courtesy: Office of the Press Secretary

    President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has signed Executive Order (EO) No. 3 which allows the voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings. The EO reiterated the continued practice of minimum health standards needed in the time of COVID-19 pandemic.

    Under the new face masks guidelines, wearing masks are now optional in "open spaces, or non-crowded areas with good ventilation." Senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals are "highly encouraged" to still keep on their masks.

    Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles explained, “the voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation is hereby allowed provided that not fully vaccinated individuals, senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals are highly encouraged to wear their masks and physical distancing will be observed at all times."

    Angeles further explained that the new guideline will not include private, indoor or public establishments. It means the public is still required to wear face masks in enclosed settings, including public modes of transportation by land, air, or sea. Masks will also be required in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be practiced.

    A week ago, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the liberation on face masks is applicable to those who are NOT senior citizens and immunocompromised and under low-risk settings.

    The implementation will be done in phases to still the continued protection of the public against COVID-19. It's also a way for the agencies to check if the policies are effective.

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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