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Face mask use in open spaces now optional in Aklan

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Governor Jose Enrique Miraflores has signed an order that makes wearing of masks in open spaces optional or voluntary in Aklan.

His Executive Order No. (EO) 027, series of 2022, adopts and establishes the guidelines in the wearing of facemasks and the continued implementation of the Minimum Public Health Standards pursuant to EO 03 issued by His Excellency President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. dated Sept. 12, 2022.

Miraflores said that EO 03 was premised on Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 1, series of 2022, recommending for the liberalization of the mask mandate by amending the guidelines and making wearing of face masks optional in open spaces or non-crowded areas with good ventilation, provided that senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals are highly encouraged to wear the masks. (https://bit.ly/3C97xou)

An alternative is to issue an EO lifting the mandatory mask mandate and allowing the optional use of face masks in open spaces, outdoor areas, and non-crowded spaces with good ventilation.

“For several months now, Aklan has remained under Alert Level 1 and as of Sept. 13, 95.94% of Aklan’s population have been fully vaccinated, thus, it is but apt to adopt the mandate of Executive Order No.03 of the Office of the President,” the governor said in his EO.

While wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded areas with good ventilation becomes voluntary, Miraflores stressed that face masks must be worn in all other areas including in public transportation and in indoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The minimum public health standards intended to effectively prevent and to minimize the spread of Covid-19 should be implemented consistent with the principles of accountability, evidence-based decision-making, socio-economic equity, and right-based approach, the EO also read.

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