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Mobility restrictions to be considered once NCR vaccination reaches 50% —Palace

Malacañang on Thursday said restricting the movement of unvaccinated people will only be considered once 50% of Metro Manila's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“If we reach population protection or fully vaccinating 50% of those in Metro Manila, we can consider that suggestion. Let us wait because that 50% is within reach,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

Roque was referring to the suggestion of presidential adviser on entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion to allow only fully vaccinated individuals to enter establishments and workplaces, as well as use public transport.

Concepcion said that allowing the fully vaccinated to go outside for work and other activities is the only way forward, noting the impact to the economy of longer lockdowns.

“That is the way forward because the vaccinated is protected against severe COVID-19 and death due to COVID-19. There is Christmas spending and election spending in the last quarter, so we really need the vaccinated to stir the economy so we can enter the new year with income,” Concepcion had said.

NCR vaccine update

In the same briefing, National Task Force Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon said at least 41% of the eligible population in the National Capital Region (NCR) are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

He said a total of 3.2 million vaccine doses have been administered so far in the NCR this month, or 178,000 jabs per day on average.

Dizon then expressed confidence that the target inoculation rate of 50% would be achieved by August 31.

The government has identified the NCR and eight other areas as priority for COVID-19 vaccination coverage. NCR Plus 8 covers Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Pampanga, Batangas, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao.

Metro Manila has been under enhanced community quarantine -- the strictest quarantine protocol where only essential travels and services are allowed -- since August 6. It will lapse on Friday, August 20.

Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce the next quarantine classification for Metro Manila on Friday.

“We expect the President to make the announcement on Friday, unless he gives authorization to announce it earlier,” Roque said in the same briefing. —KBK, GMA News