Metro Manila, 4 provinces under ECQ due to COVID-19 surge — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — A week after being placed under a general community quarantine “bubble,” Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces — Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna — have been placed under enhanced community quarantine ECQ starting Monday, March 29, until April 4 due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, Malacañang announced Saturday.
In an announcement over state-run PTV, Roque said that the previous ECQ guidelines as provided in Omnibus Guidelines shall be followed subject to the review, recommendations, and amendments of the Inter-Agency Task Force-technical working groups may be necessary.
Persons who will not be allowed to go out of their homes are those aged below 18 and above 65; those having immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks; and pregnant women.
On the other hand, those who will be allowed to go are those getting essential goods and services, those who work in permitted offices or establishments; and authorized persons outside of residence (APOR).
Unlike in the previous ECQ implementation, public transportation will be allowed to operate at such capacity and guidelines to be issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Roque said.
During the one-week ECQ period, a curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. will be enforced in Metro Manila and the four covered provinces, Roque added.
Also during the ECQ, mass gatherings, including religious services that were previously allowed under a 10 percent capacity, are now prohibited.
Shopping malls will remain open, but for only essential stores such as pharmacies, groceries, and hardware stores.
Restaurants will also remain open, but only for take-out and deliveries as both indoor and, al-fresco dining are now prohibited.
Roque’s announcement comes almost a week after Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, and Rizal were placed under a GCQ bubble from March 22 to April 4.
The government task force’s new mandate comes as the country has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases. As of March 27, the Philippines recorded 9,595 additional cases, driving the active infections to 118,112.
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