People living in Metro Manila, Laguna and five other provinces are now under relaxed confinement measures aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Based on Resolution No. 37 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the following areas are under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) effective Saturday, May 16, to last until Sunday, May 31:
- highly urbanized cities of the National Capital Region and municipality of Pateros
- Nueva Ecija
- Pampanga including Angeles City
The government said Metro Manila and Laguna continue to be considered high risk in the transmission of the deadly virus.
Some provinces such as Bulacan, Bataan and Pampanga appealed to the national government for them to be placed under MECQ.
National Task Force Against COVID-19 vice chairman and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año announced early Saturday that Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Angeles City and Nueva Ecija have been placed under MECQ, according to GMA News reporter Joseph Morong.
JUST-IN: Bulacan Pampanga Bataan Zambales Angeles City Nueva Ecija now under MECQ, NTF Vice Chair and DILG Sec. Eduardo Año says— Joseph Morong ???????? (@Joseph_Morong) May 15, 2020
Meanwhile, Cebu City and Mandaue City have been placed until enhanced community quarantine until May 31.
The rest of the country is now under the more relaxed general community quarantine.
Mandaue City and Cebu City will be under enhanced community quarantine until May 31, according to the IATF. Modified ECQ will be implemented in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales & Angeles City until May 31. @gmanews pic.twitter.com/Vk9pH3p6Lf— Virgil Lopez (@virgillopez) May 15, 2020
The revised classification of areas under community quarantine until May 31, 2020, according to IATF Resolution 37 pic.twitter.com/nP8TSOufdN— Virgil Lopez (@virgillopez) May 15, 2020
Under the MECQ, more business establishments will be allowed to reopen, gatherings will be limited to five people and government offices may implement skeleton workforce or work from home arrangements.
Limited outdoor exercises such as walking, jogging and biking will be allowed but safety protocols such as wearing of face masks and observing the two-meter physical distancing rule must be followed.
Schools will remain closed and public transport will remain suspended in the capital region, where the majority of the country's COVID-19 cases were recorded.
Previously, President Rodrigo Duterte imposed the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, which entailed sweeping restrictions on travel and mass gatherings as well as closure of schools and most businesses.
Local government units outside of Luzon followed suit. — RSJ/BAP/KG, GMA News