The Inter-Agency Task Force of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has recommended making optional the mask-wearing policy in outdoor areas nationwide, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles made the announcement in a press briefing in Singapore.

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

“Ito po ay magiging optional in open spaces or non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation,” she added.

In a separate briefing, Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. had verbally approved the move.

Cebu City was the first local government unit in the country to scrap its mandatory mask-wearing policy.

Angeles said individuals who were sick, immunocompromised or have flu-like symptoms would be highly encouraged to wear masks. John Ezekiel J. Hirro