On Monday, December 28, President Duterte announced the extension of the general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila along with nine other areas from January 1 to 31, 2021.
Areas placed under GCQ were the provinces of Davao del Norte, Batangas, Isabela, Lanao del Sur and the cities of Santiago, Iloilo, Tacloban, Iligan, and Davao.
The rest of the country will be under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
President Duterte noted in his public address, however, that the new quarantine classifications could still change and is subject to appeals by the respective local government units (LGUs).
In announcing the new restrictions, President Duterte encouraged Filipinos to observe health protocols particularly by staying home and frequent washing of hands.
“Dito sa COVID strain na… the rule is kung maaari hindi ka lumabas ng bahay, huwag ka nang lumabas,” the President said.
“So it’s a stay home if it’s really possible. Kung kaya mo lang. It’s for your own good. And then the washing of the hands.”
The new quarantine classifications for January came after reports of a mutated COVID-19 variant emerging in the United Kingdom. A new separate strain of the coronavirus was also reported to have identified by experts in Africa.
In response, the Philippine government extended an existing UK travel ban by another two weeks after its supposed expiration by December 31.
As of Monday, the Philippines has recorded 470,650 coronavirus infections with 438,780 recoveries and 9,124 deaths.