Cebu City’s Covid-19 cases remained on the decline even after its government made optional the use of face masks in the city’s outdoor spaces, the OCTA Research Team said on Friday.

In the city, face masks are only required in indoor settings, including hospitals, clinics and other medical and diagnostic facilities, following Mayor Michael Rama’s order which took effect on Sept. 1.

In a public briefing, OCTA’s Guido David said the city’s cases continued to decline even after the new outdoor masking policy was imposed.

“[S]a Cebu pababa pa rin ang bilang ng kaso although…optional na ang face mask sa Cebu at marami na ang hindi nagsusuot ng face masks outdoors,” he said.

David made the remark after he was asked about the possible effects of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s Executive Order (EO) No. 3, which made optional the wearing of masks in outdoor areas nationwide,

“Kung masusunod naman to the letter ‘yung EO na open spaces lang, sa outdoors, tingin naman natin hindi naman malaki ang magiging epekto nito,” he said.

Partially vaccinated individuals, senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals are “highly encouraged” to wear masks.

Mask-wearing remains required in indoor, private or public establishments, including in public transportation by land, air or sea and in outdoor settings where distancing cannot be observed.

Physical distancing and other public health standards will continue to be implemented nationwide. John Ezekiel J. Hirro