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Gov’t further eases GCQ restrictions

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is further easing restrictions in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) despite COVID-19 cases continuing to rise.

The IATF again revised the general guidelines for GCQ to allow visits to cemeteries and open memorial parks for a group not exceeding 10 people, who should follow health measures against the new coronavirus, according the presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

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The number of groups to be accomodated would be up to the park management, but the minimum health standards and physical distancing would be the primary considerations, he said.

Restaurants and cafes in hotels can also now operate, but only up to 9 p.m. and at a maximum of 30 percent of the venue’s capacity, Roque said.

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The IATF’s latest guidelines stated that accommodation establishments may also prepare packed meals for distribution for guests, and food orders for take-out and delivery only.

Similarly, restaurants and cafes in clubhouse areas for outdoor non-contact sports may also resume operations, also at 30 percent capacity, Roque said.

He added that the IATF also made recommendations on the prevailing community quarantine all over the Philippines to which local governments would be allowed to appeal before they are finalized.

He said President Rodrigo Duterte might announce his decision before June 29.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, a former military chief of staff, said a “localized” lockdown imposed on 112 areas in the country had proven to be the “best approach” to contain COVID-19 as it “surgically targets areas” where positive or suspected cases were concentrated.

“It really works since the hot zone areas are secluded from the rest of the community, hence, stopping the transmission to other communities,” Año said.

Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that of the 112 areas placed under localized lockdown as of June 21, 67 were in the Cordillera Autonomous Region; 19 in Cebu City; 18 in Metro Manila; one each in Cavite, Quezon, and Leyte provinces; and five in Cagayan de Oro City.

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19 Philippines, duterte, GCQ, health crisis, lockdown, pandemic, Quarantine
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