Gov't allows religious mass gatherings up to 50 percent capacity in MGCQ areas

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2020 02:14 PM

Youth volunteers put marks reminding people to observe physical distancing at San Agustin Church in Manila. Czar Dancel, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - Religious mass gatherings are allowed up to 50 percent capacity in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), Malacañang said Thursday following calls to reopen places of worship to the public.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said minimum health standards such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks should be observed during such gatherings.

"Sa mga lugar na MGCQ, pupwede na po magkaroon ng mass gatherings for religious purposes pero hanggang 50 pecent lamang ng seating capacity," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(In places under MGCQ, mass gatherings for religious purposes are allowed but only up to 50 percent of the seating capacity.)

Except for Metro Manila, Pangasinan province, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Davao City, and Zamboanga City, which are under general community quarantine, all areas in the country are under the more relaxed MGCQ beginning June 1.

The MGCQ is the transition point to the "new normal" where "emerging behaviors, situations, and minimum public health standards" are "institutionalized in common or routine practices" while the COVID-19 is not yet totally eradicated.

Under the government's guidelines on the implementation of community quarantines, religious gatherings in modified enhanced community quarantine areas are restricted to 5 people.

In areas placed under GCQ, participants should not be more than 10 people.