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FROM JULY 23 TO 31, 2021

Metro Manila, 4 provinces placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions

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Metro Manila will be placed under general community quarantine "with heightened restrictions" from July 23 to 31, Malacañang announced on Friday, a day after local transmission of the Delta coronavirus variant was confirmed by the Health department.

Aside from Metro Manila, other areas that will be under GCQ with heightened restrictions are Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

The decision was reached following a meeting of the -Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Thursday.

Under GCQ with heightened restrictions, minors — or those aged 5 years old to 17 — are not allowed to go outside their homes.

OCTA numbers

Meanwhile, based on its latest numbers, OCTA Research said average number of daily new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila has increased to 851 for the July 16 to 22 period, with its reproduction number at 1.21.

The latest number in daily new COVID-19 cases is a 39% increase from previous figure of 613, the group said. Metro Manila's reproduction number was .92 last week.

Despite this, hospital bed utilization and ICU occupancy in Metro Manila remained low at 37% and 44% respectively, OCTA said.

Metro Manila was previously under GCQ, while Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur were previously under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) supposedly until the end of July.

On the other hand, Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte were previously under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Davao del Sur, however, has been placed under eased GCQ protocol from July 23 until July 31 from previously being under MECQ.

The Philippines has recorded 47 cases of the more transmissible Delta variant so far.

In the same briefing, Roque announced the inclusion of Thailand and Malaysia in the list of countries with travel restrictions in connection with the Delta variant.

He also announced that the government task force has allowed foreign spouses, parent/s, and/or children of Filipino citizens with valid 9(a) visas to enter the Philippines without the need for an entry exemption document beginning August 1. 

What's allowed?

Under GCQ with heightened restrictions, personal care services are allowed to operate at 30% as long as they are not requiring mask removal. If the establishment has a Safety Seal, they may operate an additional 10% capacity.

Outdoor tourist attractions are also allowed but only at 30% capacity.

Likewise, staycation hotels are allowed to operate for up to 100% venue capacity while other government-accredited establishments may operate at 30% capacity. There are no age restrictions for staycations.

Indoor dining is allowed for 20% while outdoor dining is allowed for 50%. Indoor dining may increase by 10% capacity if the establishment has Safety Seal. —KBK, GMA News

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