MECQ in NCR, other areas: Mass transportation suspended, quarantine pass required anew
MANILA, Philippines — Quarantine passes will be required again and mass transport will be banned in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) amid the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reminded the public on Monday.
“Starting midnight tonight, ‘yung mass transport natin ay i-i-stop. Ang papayagan natin dyan ay shuttle services, point to point. Ine-encourage natin ‘yung paggamit ng bike. Motorcycles will be allowed,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(Starting midnight tonight, mass transport operations will be suspended. We will allow shuttle services. We encourage the use of bicycles. Motorcycles will be allowed.)
Año said local government units will decide if tricycles will be allowed to operate, provided that it will only have one passenger per trip.
He also encouraged companies to provide shuttle services for their employees amid the suspension of mass transport operations, which includes the suspension of train services.
Under MECQ, only authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) will be allowed to go out of their homes, Año stressed.
“Kailangan ay mga necessity lang, essentials ang purpose ng paglabas, at ibabalik din ang quarantine passes dyan,” he also said.
(They should only go out for essential needs and services, and we will also require the use of quarantine passes again.)
Meanwhile, limited outdoor exercises will still be allowed, including walking, jogging, and biking.
He added that some businesses will be allowed to operate as in previous MECQ guidelines.
“Essential lang ulit pero meron tayong mga nag-operate dyan na businesses, opisina, media establishments, mga productions, BPOs, e-commerce companies, mining, quarrying, coastal, courier, and delivery services, rental-leasing, repair of computers, personal household goods and housing service activities,” said Año.
(We will allow essential services but there are businesses that will be allowed to operate, like media establishments, productions, business process outsourcing, e-commerce companies, mining, quarrying, coastal, courier, and delivery services, rental-leasing, repair of computers, personal goods and housing service activities.)
“’Yung ating category 2, ‘yung manufacturing industries ay allowed at 50 percent operational capacity,” he added.
(Those under category 2, the manufacturing industries will also be allowed at 50 percent operational capacity.)
Año said malls will be allowed to open but only for essential services.
He added that checkpoints in borders between areas under MECQ and those under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified GCQ will be strictly implemented.
In a separate interview, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said checkpoints in the borders of cities and municipalities will also be set-up in areas to be placed again under MECQ.
The return of these quarantine protocols comes after President Rodrigo Duterte heeded the appeal of medical professionals to reimpose stricter lockdown measures in Metro Manila and nearby provinces due to continuous increase of COVID-19 cases under relaxed community quarantine measures.
Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan will be under the stricter MECQ status anew from August 4 to 18, 2020.
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