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NCR, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna placed under ECQ from March 29 to April 4

The National Capital Region and neighboring areas were placed under the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) anew following the spike in the number of new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

In a live briefing on Saturday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal — designated as the “National Capital Region Plus” — will be placed under ECQ starting midnight March 29 until Sunday, April 4.

Meanwhile, essential and priority construction projects will be allowed under guidelines to be issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

According to Roque, all mass gatherings, including religious gatherings that were previously allowed to up to 10% capacity, are now prohibited.

Meanwhile, minors, senior citizens, pregnant women, and those with immunodeficiency and co-morbidities are not allowed to go out.

Roque said the curfew was also extended from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.

However, authorized persons outside of residence, workers, cargo vehicles, and public transportation are not restricted by the curfew. However, they must present identification cards to authorities.

The presidential spokesperson maintained that a travel pass is not needed.

Meanwhile, malls will remain open for essential stores such as groceries, pharmacies, and hardware stores.

Restaurants will also remain open for take-out and delivery.

“Kahit ano pong dine-in, maski al fresco, hindi na po puwede,” he said.

[All dine-ins, including al fresco, are no longer allowed.]

The Philippine government earlier placed the NCR Plus under a stricter community quarantine bubble that was expected to run from March 22 to April 4.

However, the Philippines on Friday reported an all-time high of 9,838 new COVID-19 cases.

On Saturday, active cases reached a 2021 record high of 118,122, as 9,595 new infections brought the total tally to 712,442.

The OCTA Research Group projected 740,000 cases by the end of March

It earlier said the Philippines could see 11,000 new COVID-19 cases daily by the end of March. — DVM/JST, GMA News