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The executive order allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks outdoors is not tied to the alert level system for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), a health official said Tuesday.

“That’s something to be clear. Kahit na mayroon tayong Alert Level 2 na mga areas ngayon (Even if we have Alert Level 2 areas now), they can still implement the optional mask mandate,” said Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire in a media briefing.

Earlier, the OCTA Research Group said a set of guidelines must be defined to reimpose the use of face masks in outdoor settings “should a serious surge in Covid-19 cases happen”.

“Hindi na natin kailangan ng mga bagong triggers na, meron po tayo na mga pamantayan (We no longer need triggers, we already have standards) through our alert level system,” Vergeire said.

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Reaching the third alert level and having a moderate to high risk health care utilization are enough indications of an area’s Covid-19 situation, she said.

“Kapag dumating siguro ang dalawang lugar, tatlong lugar, na nagte-trend na tayo, na nag-a-alert level 3 na ang maraming lugar of course that’s for our government to check again our policy and try to revise it kung kinakailangan (If it happens that, two, three areas, we’re trending, Alert Level 3 in many areas, of course that’s for our government to check again our policy and try to revise if needed),” she added.

The Department of Health encouraged senior citizens and other immunocompromised individuals to complete their primary Covid-19 vaccination series and wear masks outdoors. (PNA)

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