Do private motorists driving solo need to wear a mask in ECQ areas? That's what we asked the Department of Transport (DOTr) recently. The answer? It's not required, as confirmed by the DOTr.
The DOTr, along with the Department of Health (DOH) and Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), reiterated the rules of wearing face masks inside motor vehicles.
When the driver has at least one passenger with them, everyone in the vehicle must wear a mask to follow minimum health guidelines. But should the driver be alone, the driver does not have to wear one.
Per the DOTr, the directive from February 2021 still stands even in areas currently under ECQ. Failure to follow this directive will result in enforcers flagging you down and issuing a "reckless driving" violation. The DOTr has already coordinated with other government agencies such as the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT), and the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) regarding this directive.
For those wondering if they should wear a mask while driving solo, the response from the DOTr clears that up. Of course, those in the public transport sector must wear one even if they are alone in the vehicle. Of course, it shouldn't be a reason to leave it at home. Besides, you'll still have to get out of the car at some point. And if you are caught in public without a mask, a hefty fine is the least of your worries.