NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal under GCQ until April 4 — IATF
MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region and the adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will all be under a general community quarantine (GCQ) from March 22 (Monday) to April 4 (Sunday), the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) said.
According to Resolution No. 104 of the IATF, the measure was adopted due to rising COVID-19 cases in the country, particularly in the said areas. In a briefing on Sunday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the proposal has been approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Of the five areas mentioned, only Metro Manila was under a GCQ prior, while the rest were placed under a modified GCQ (MGCQ) before the latest resolution.
Roque also dismissed reports that a stringent lockdown will be imposed in these areas, although he mentioned and stressed several restrictions that will be implemented — from travel restrictions and other protocols that were adopted from the more stringent enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ (MECQ).
“Fake news po ‘yong sinasabi na magkakaroon daw tayo ng circuit breaker, hindi po totoo ‘yan […] Bagamat ang mga probinsya pong ito kasama ang Metro Manila ay nasa ilalim ng GCQ, meron po tayong mga karagadagang mga restrictions,” Roque said.
“Unang-una po, bawal po ang pagba-biyahe papunta sa Metro Manila at mga probinsya ng Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, at bawal din po lumabas ng Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal. Magkakaroon po tayo ng parang bubble dito,” he added.
However, Roque clarified that authorized persons outside their residence (APORs) will still be allowed to do essential travel in and out of the five areas under GCQ. But unlike being under MECQ or ECQ, the operation of public transportation and its current capacity will not be affected.
The uniform 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew over Metro Manila will also be enforced in the other provinces under GCQ. Similarly, persons under 18 years old and those above 65 years old are barred from leaving their houses except when going to work or when buying essential items.
Indoor dining in enclosed spaces is also banned, while outdoor dining will be allowed. The government is discouraging people from doing face-to-face meetings while pushing for telecommuting and virtual meetings, and take-out and delivery of food items.
The holding of Mass and other public gatherings, including religious activities, are also restricted — weddings, baptisms, and funerals are allowed as long as only a maximum of 10 persons will be in attendance.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are now experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
As of Sunday, the country has 73,072 active COVID-19 cases after the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 7,757 new cases. Sunday marks the third consecutive day that the country registered over 7,000 new COVID-19 cases, as it previously recorded 7,103 cases on Friday, and 7,999 cases on Saturday.
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