Face Masks Required Even Aboard Private Cars, Says LTO

There's an exception for solo drivers.

PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Lando Aviles (used for illustrative purposes only)

Except when driving alone, all occupants of private vehicles must wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Land Transportation Office said on Monday, February 1.

The requirement is "harsh" but the law must be implemented, said Land Transportation Office (LTO) Director Clarence Guinto. Violators will be meted the equivalent penalties for reckless driving, he told Teleradyo.

Even those who live in the same household should wear face covering, he said. "The law does not distinguish na magkasama sa bahay o hindi," he said.

For private vehicles, that's P2,000, P3,000 and P5,000 plus one-year suspension of driver's license for the first, second and third offense, respectively. For public conveyances, it's P5,000, P10,000 and P15,000 plus one year suspension of driver's license for the first, second and third offense, respectively, according to the LTO director. Face shields are also required aboard public transport.

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The Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 set a national policy for the wearing of face masks and face shields at all times in public places. This is implemented through city and municipal ordinances which could vary slightly so it's best to check with local authorities.

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