PBBM allows voluntary use of face masks in outdoor places

Executive Order No.3 signed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. allows the voluntary use of facemasks in outdoor settings. This was announced on Monday by Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles.

“This is what the DOH is announcing, the voluntary wearing of face masks outdoors, in non-crowded places. If you are immunocompromised, seniors or not yet fully vaccinated, you still need to wear a face mask, or the use of a face mask is strongly encouraged.” Cruz said in a press briefing.

"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." Executive Order No.3.

"In indoor, private or public establishments, including public transportation by land, air or sea, and outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained." Order added that face masks should still be worn.

Other minimum public health standards, which aim to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country, shall still be observed with the principles of shared accountability, and evidence-based decision making, Cruz-Angeles said.

The Department of Health has been ordered to update the minimum public health standards guidelines amid the issuance of EO No. 3, According to the Palace official.

Cruz-Angeles said that the nation is already 6% away from the wall of immunity when asked what prompted the President to decide on the voluntary use of face masks in outdoor situations.

"He had imposed a condition and one of that is the establishment of the wall of immunity since we are 6% away from that then it's time. So we're doing this in stages, in phases so that we can have feedback on whether or not these new policies are working and how to make them more efficient," she said.

"Hopefully, by the end of the year, we might be able to have a... to be voluntarily mask indoors as well," Cruz-Angeles said.

Meanwhile, Cruz-Angeles said the local government units would play a key role in the said executive order, especially on the standards of spaces as well as the conditions such as determining what area could be deemed as having "good ventilation."

The Inter-Agency Task Force of Emerging Infectious Diseases recommended the voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces by year-end amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Malacañang said last Wednesday.

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