On Sunday, April 11, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal (NCR Plus) under the less restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from April 12 to April 30.
President Duterte made this decision after more public and private hospitals committed to provide rooms and beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
“Dahil sa direktiba ng Pangulo sa PhilHealth na magbayad sa mga ospital na mayroong mga unpaid Covid claims, marami sa ating mga private, national government, at LGU hospitals ay nag-commit na dadagdagan ang mga Covid-19 beds, lalo na ang mga ICU beds sa NCR Plus (Because of the President’s directive to PhilHealth to pay unpaid Covid-19 claims, more private, national government and local government unit hospitals have committed to provide additional Covid-19 beds, especially ICU beds in NCR Plus),” said Roque in a virtual presser.
Besides NCR (National Capital Region) Plus, also under MECQ are the City of Santiago in Isabela, Quirino province in Region 2, and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya (Region 2), Batangas (Region 4-A), Tacloban City (Region 8), Iligan City (Region 10), Davao City (Region 11), and Lanao del Sur (BARMM), and Quezon will be under general community quarantine (GCQ).
The rest of the Philippines will be under the least restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
The common curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. will remain in place. However, workers, cargo vehicles, and public transportation will not be restricted by this curfew.
As of April 3, 2021, according to the amended omnibus guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) strict home quarantine shall be observed in all households under MECQ. Movement must also be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in permitted offices or establishments or such activities allowed.
Persons below 18 years old, those who are over 65 years old, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women shall be required to remain at home at all times except for obtaining essential goods and services or for work.
Under the IATF-EID guidelines, the following establishments, persons, or activities shall not be permitted to operate, work, or be undertaken during MECQ:
—Entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas;
—Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues;
—Amusement parks or theme parks, fairs/peryas, kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom and kiddie rides;
—Outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports, scrimmages, games, or activities;
—Indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools;
—Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except for the draws conducted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office;
—Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits;
—Outdoor tourist attractions;
—Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions;
—Personal care services which include beauty salons, beauty parlors, medical esthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, make-up salons, nail spas, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness and holistic centers, and other similar establishments; acupuncture and electrocautery establishments, and massage therapy including sports therapy establishments. It also includes establishments providing tanning services, body piercings, tattooing and similar services. Home service for these activities is likewise not permitted; and
—Indoor dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants, and eateries.