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DOTr and DOH have spoken: Solo drivers may remove face mask

The mask becomes mandatory when the driver is with a passenger

Motorists are confused: Can the face mask be removed if the driver is traveling alone? PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

It’s one of the biggest motoring questions during the pandemic: Can a solo driver remove his face mask inside the vehicle?

The Department of Transportation and the Department of Health have just released a joint statement confirming that, yes, “when traveling alone, the driver may remove his/her face mask.”

But add another person in the car and everyone is required to wear a mask. According to the statement, “when the driver is with a passenger (or passengers), it is mandatory for all individuals inside the vehicle to properly wear a face mask, regardless if they are from the same household.”

To wear or not to wear a mask when driving solo? Remove it. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Are solo motorists assured that they will not be bothered by traffic enforcers regarding this? From the statement:

Proper coordination shall be made with and between the Land Transportation Office, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic, the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, other law enforcement agencies, and local government traffic offices/units concerning the proper implementation of the resolution, and the imposition of appropriate fines and penalties for violations thereof, in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.

There you go. Drive alone, remove face mask, whistle a happy tune.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 26 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.