After more than two years since safety precautionary measures and protocols were implemented to combat the spread and deadly effects of Covid-19, on Monday, September 12, the Philippine government lifted the mandatory use of face masks in outdoor settings.
Under Executive Order No. 3, signed by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., wearing face masks in outdoor settings–– open and non-crowded spaces is now "voluntary."
"Allowing voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings and reiterating the continued implementation of minimum public health standards during the state of public health emergency relative to the Covid-19 pandemic."
The EO states that:
Wearing face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation is now optional, but senior citizens, immunocompromised citizens, and not fully-vaccinated individuals are highly encouraged to wear their masks.
In spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as indoor private or public establishments, public transportation by land, air, or sea, wearing of face masks is still mandatory.
According to the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, as of September 06, 2022, 72 million individuals or 93% of the target population in the country are fully-vaccinated, and 18 million individuals or 23% of the target population have received their booster doses. In addition, 88 out of 121 provinces, highly-urbanized cities, and independent cities, and 696 of the Philippines' component cities and municipalities are under Alert Level 1.
The directive from the executive branch is effective immediately.
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