MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte has heeded the call of healthcare workers to revert Metro Manila to a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ.
Here are the details you need to know according to Malacañang and the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic response:
1. What is MECQ?
The MECQ is the second strictest community quarantine, just next to the enhanced community quarantine.
Under the MECQ, strict home quarantine is required for all households with trips limited to accessing essential goods or services, and for work in industries that are permitted to operate.
2. What areas will revert back to MECQ?
Areas that will revert back to MECQ are Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan.
3. How long is the MECQ?
President Duterte approved the reversion to MECQ from Aug. 4 to 18.
4. Who can go out of their homes during MECQ?
Only authorized persons outside of their residences can go out of their homes during the MECQ period to access basic goods and services, or go to work.
Individuals working in industries that are permitted to operate may also travel to and from their work.
Senior citizens, those below 21 years old, pregnant women, and those with immunodeficiencies or comorbidities are not allowed to go out unless there is a valid reason.
5. Are quarantine passes needed again?
Quarantine passes are needed again for those going out of their homes. IATF passes, previously issued during the enhanced community quarantine period, will also be honored, said Roque.
For those traveling to work, employee IDs or work passes are needed.
6. Will there be checkpoints?
Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said stricter checkpoints will be positioned not only in the boundaries between regions and provinces but also between cities and towns under the MECQ.
The checkpoints, he said, are designed to prevent people from buying basic goods outside of their city or town.
7. What are the transportation guidelines?
There is no public transport in areas under MECQ.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque encourages companies to provide private transportation such as company shuttles to its employees, as the government prioritizes shuttle services and P2P transport for healthcare workers.
While personal vehicles of authorized persons outside of their residence are allowed, motorcycle back-riding for couples in MECQ areas is again prohibited.
Limited international flights are also allowed but inter-island travel in the Philippines is prohibited.
8. Are mass gatherings allowed?
Mass gatherings are prohibited in MECQ areas. The government, however, allows religious gatherings limited to five people, as well as critical government services, and authorized humanitarian activities. Face-to-face classes are also prohibited.
9. Are outdoor exercises allowed?
Individual outdoor exercises are allowed in areas under MECQ. Examples of these are outdoor walks, jogging, running, and biking.
10. What businesses can operate in MECQ areas?
Here are the industries that are allowed and prohibited to operate in MECQ areas: