Gov’t allows 30% capacity for religious gatherings in GCQ areas | Inquirer News

Gov’t allows 30% capacity for religious gatherings in GCQ areas

/ 11:27 AM October 23, 2020

Catholic faithful sit outside the Quiapo church in Manila on October 9, 2020, as health protocols imposed by authorities limit churchgoers inside the church to filling only 10 percent of their seating capacity. – After months of live streaming Mass to millions of faithful from behind closed doors, churches in the Catholic-majority Philippines are beginning to reopen. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has allowed churches, mosques and other places of worship to increase their authorized seating capacity to 30 percent for their religious gatherings in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

“Ito rin po ay alinsunod doon sa mga naging rekomendasyon ng ating mga Metro Manila mayors,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised press briefing Friday.

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(This is in accordance with the recommendation of Metro Manila mayors.)

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According to IATF Resolution 80, the religious denominations should “strictly observe their submitted protocols and the minimum public health standards, particularly social distancing measures and non-pharmaceutical interventions such as the obligatory wearing of face masks and immediate availability of hand hygiene necessities in the premises.”

Religious gatherings have been immediately barred when strict lockdown measures were enforced in mid-March due to the spread of COVID-19, which has already sickened over 360,00 people nationwide.

Since then, Catholic Filipinos have shifted to hearing online or televised Masses and religious services.

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TAGS: COVID-19, GCQ, Metro Manila, Philippines, Simbang Gabi

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