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It’s official: Wearing masks indoors, outdoors now voluntary

By: Daniza Fernandez - Inquirer.net | October 29,2022 - 08:06 AM

Photo of two girls wearing face masks.

| File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Wearing face masks in indoor and outdoor settings is now voluntary.

Executive Order (EO) No. 7, allowing the optional face mask use and reiterating the continued implementation of public health emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and released on Friday.

Under the order, wearing face masks is still mandatory in healthcare facilities, medical transport vehicles, and public transportation.

The elderly, persons with comorbidities, immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women, unvaccinated individuals, and symptomatic persons are encouraged to wear a face mask.

Minimum public health standards (MPHS) to prevent COVID-19 spread will still be implemented.

Health protocols to prevent COVID-19 infection include hand hygiene, frequent hand-washing, observance of physical distancing, and maintenance of good ventilation, especially indoors.

The Department of Health (DOH) will update the MPHS guidelines according to the order.

Moreover, the EO also tasked the local government units (LGUs) to submit regular vaccination and booster coverage status reports to the DOH.

As of October 26, around 73.5 million individuals in the country are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Of the figure, 20.5 million persons received booster shots.

LGUs and government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities are directed to render full assistance and cooperation with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to implement the order.

EO No. 3, which allowed the optional wearing of face masks in outdoor settings and issued in September, is now repealed.

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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, COVID-19, Face masks, outdoors

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