Malacañang Says IATF Recommended Voluntary Face Mask Use In Open Spaces

Malacañang: “Ang tuluyan na lifting ng mandatory mask mandate ay ipi-pilot towards the last quarter of 2022”

MALACAÑANG — The Palace said that the The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has recommended the voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces by year-end amid the coronavirus pandemic.

MALACAÑANG — The Palace said that the IATF has recommended the voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces by year-end.
Photo Source: University of California

On Wednesday, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a press briefing that the IATF’s recommendation is to make optional the wearing of face mask in non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation or open spaces, provided that the COVID-19 booster uptake in the Philippines improves.

She also stressed that the IATF’s recommendation is not yet a policy, but the pilot testing of the voluntary face mask use will be conducted towards the end of the year.

Doon sa IATF, ang kanilang rekomendasyon ay pag-liberalize ng ating mask wearing mandate and make mask wearing outdoors voluntary across the country,” she said in a press briefing.

Angeles added that immunocompromised individuals and senior citizens are still highly encouraged to continue wearing their face masks.

READ ALSO: Mandaue City No Longer Interested In Relaxing Face Mask Policy

Meanwhile, DOH Officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed such a suggestion by the Inter-Agency Task Force.

There is a verbal approval from the President when they talk to Secretary Benhur from DILG,” Vergeire said in a press briefing, referring to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos.

According to her, the President’s executive order on the matter may be released “immediately” but the President has not given a timeline as to when exactly.

GMA News Online reported that the President was in Singapore for a state visit as of Wednesday afternoon. The President is expected to arrive in the Philippines late Wednesday night.

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