Oliver Bugarin 2 0 0 5 min to read

PBBM approves the voluntary outdoor usage of face masks.

An executive order (EO) authorizing the voluntary use of face masks in outdoor settings, notably in wide spaces and unpopulated outdoor regions with sufficient ventilation, has been granted by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

In a press conference at the palace, press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles stated, “We have released Executive Order No. 3 (EO No. 3), which permits the voluntary use of face masks in outdoor settings and reiterates the continued implementation of minimum public health standards during the state of public health emergency related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EO, which the President signed on Monday, will go into force right away, according to her.

“This order will become effective as soon as it is published in the OG [Official Gazette] or a newspaper with wide distribution. She stated, “It has been published in the OG. Nasa OG na po siya.”

The EO still “strongly encourages” the use of face masks for elderly people, sick people, and people who have not finished their primary Covid-19 vaccine series.

According to Cruz-Angeles, physical separation and other minimum public health standards (MPHS) will continue to be severely enforced.

“The voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation is hereby allowed,” she continued. “However, immunocompromised persons, the elderly, and persons not fully immunized are strongly advised to wear their masks, and physical distance will be observed at all times.

Face masks must still be worn in indoor, private, and public settings, on public transit by land, air, or sea, and in outdoor settings where physical distance cannot be maintained, according to the EO.

“Tuloy pa rin po ang (We will keep up with) additional minimal public health requirements designed to successfully stop and restrict the spread of Covid-19 in the nation. According to Cruz-Angeles, it must continue to be carried out by the values of shared responsibility, fact-based reasoning, socioeconomic equity, and rights-based methodology.

According to her, the EO instructs the DOH to revise the MPHS regulations.

Open to criticism

According to Cruz-Angeles, the voluntary use of face masks would be introduced gradually to collect input from the relevant health authorities.

We’re taking this step-by-step, in phases, she explained, “so that we can have feedback on whether or not these new regulations are functioning and how to make them more efficient so that ideally, by the end of the year, we might also be able to be voluntarily masked indoors.”

She stated that the policy would be revisited if the voluntary face mask policy led to a rise in Covid-19 instances.

“Of course, the policy will be again examined if the optional masks outdoors are going to contribute to something,” she continued.

Added security

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go stated that despite the EO, it is still preferable to wear masks outside, particularly in public transportation.

“Hinihikayat ko pa rin ang ating mga kababayan, kung di naman (I urge our countrymen, if not a) discomfort on your side, na magsuot ng (to wear a) mask. Although the wearing of masks is elective in some open locations. Please simply put on your mask, pakisuot na rin po “During a press conference on Monday, he said.

Additionally, the Committee on Health and Demography chairman urged people to get Covid-19 booster doses.

“There are undoubtedly still plenty of vaccines accessible (we have many). To take boosters, simply take a booster rather than allowing these vaccinations expire for everyone who qualifies to do so (i.e., everyone who is qualified to do so), “Added he

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