MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) announced that teachers and students can choose not to wear their masks in the classroom. This announcement comes after Malacañang’s Executive Order No. 7 which drops the mask mandate.
DepEd Spokesperson Atty. Michael Poa said, “Schools may immediately implement optional masking indoors pursuant to EO7.”
Despite making masking optional, Executive Order No. 7 still requires masking in medical institutions and public transportation. The elderly, immunocompromised individuals, those with comorbidities, and unvaccinated individuals are still highly recommended to wear masks.
Prior to resuming face-to-face classes last August, Poa noted that only 19% of students were fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Recently, DepEd has also been receiving reports on COVID-19 cases in schools.
Starting November 2, public schools are required to implement full face-to-face classes. The Department of Health remains apprehensive on rolling back health restrictions; they project 18,000 cases per day by the end of the year due to optional indoor masking.