It’s official: Wearing a mask indoors, outdoors now voluntary

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MANILA, Philippines — Wearing face masks indoors and outdoors is now voluntary.

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

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

Elderly people, people with comorbidities, immunocompromised people, pregnant women, unvaccinated people and symptomatic people are encouraged to wear a face mask.

Minimum Public Health Standards (MPHS) to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will still be implemented.

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

The Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for updating the MPHS guidelines in accordance with the order.

In addition, local government units (LGUs) are required to submit regular reports on the status of vaccination and booster coverage to the DOH.

As of October 26, about 73.5 million people in the country were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Of this figure, 20.5 million people received reminders.

LGUs and government departments, agencies and bodies are requested to provide full assistance and cooperation with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases for the implementation of the order.

OEC No. 3, which permitted the optional wearing of face masks outdoors and published in September, is now repealed.

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

READ: Bongbong Marcos will order voluntary use of face mask indoors – DOT exec

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For more information on the novel coronavirus, click here.

What you need to know about the Coronavirus.

For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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