Gov’t bans non-essential travel into, outside Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal

Lays down additional restrictions amid surge in COVID-19 cases

(Eagle News) — The government has imposed additional restrictions on Metro Manila and nearby areas in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 in those areas.

This was after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved Resolution No. 104 that imposed  the additional restrictions also on Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal–which, together with the National Capital Region, were described as one subject area in the resolution—from Monday, March 22, to Sunday, April 4.

Under the resolution, only essential travel in and out of the specified GCQ area shall be allowed.

The following were also stipulated in the resolution signed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles on Saturday, March 20.

  • Public transportation shall remain operational “in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation.”
  • Only individuals aged 18 to 65 will be allowed outside. Those aged below 18 and over 65, and also those with health risks, pregnant, or with immunodeficiencies should remain in their residences.
  • All mass gatherings, including religious gatherings shall be prohibited.
  • The conduct of weddings, baptisms and funeral services shall be limited to 10 persons.
  • Current operational capacities of essential and non-essential service/industries shall be maintained subject to adherence to safety protocols and minimum public health standards, particularly in the prohibition of aggregation in communal areas such as pantries, canteens, etc.
  • The private sector is also enjoined to adopt similar working arrangements as those already in place in the executive branch of government. For instance, 30 percent to 50 percent operational or on-site capacity, where applicable.
  •  Dine-in restaurants , cafes and establishments shall be limited to delivery, take-out and any outdoor or al fresco dining shall be allowed “provided that additional engineering and administrative controls are put in place such as but not limited to placing of acrylic or similar dividers, limiting to two persons per table with appropriate seating arrangements (one-seat apart in a diagonal configuration).”
  • Driving schools, traditional cinemas, video, and interactive game arcades, libraries, archives, museums, and cultural centers, limited social events at Department of Tourism-accredited establishments temporarily suspended. Open-air tourist attractions, however, are exempted.

According to the resolution, barangay teams shall ensure the compliance of households.

The Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry, on the other hand, shall ensure the compliance of workplaces to minimum public health standards.

The additional restrictions were put in place as the Philippines continues to battle a surge in COVID-19 cases.

On Sunday, the Philippines confirmed 7757 additional COVID-19 cases, the third consecutive day the country logged more than 7,000 additional cases in a single day.

The Octa research group has said if the surge continues unabated, daily COVID-19 cases could hit 11,000 by the end of the month.

The Department of Health has said the surge was due to increased mobility and the failure to follow minimum health protocols, exacerbated by the presence of virus variants.