Metro Manila’s month-long community quarantine began during the weekend in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. As promising as it looked during the first day on a Sunday, though, the flaws started showing up on the first working day of the quarantine.
Unintentional ‘mass gatherings’ happened in places where people waited in big groups for public transportation in and out of Manila without social distancing, for example, and this has lead to the ‘enhanced community quarantine’ now in place. Here is what the updated quarantine entails as stated in a memorandum released today.
All classes and school activities are suspended.
Classes and all school activities in all levels are suspended until April 14, 2020 and will resume on April 15, 2020. This applies to the entirety of Luzon.
No mass gatherings.
Mass gatherings of any kind are prohibited.
Everyone is on strict home quarantine.
Every household shall observe a strict home quarantine. This means that you cannot and should not leave the house unless necessary. Food and essential health services will now be regulated, and more uniformed personnel will be present to enforce quarantine procedures.
Work from home schemes shall be implemented.
A work from home arrangement shall be implemented in the Executive branch, except the PNP, AFP, PCG, and health and emergency frontline services, border control and other critical services, which shall ensure a skeletal workforce.
Most establishments will be closed.
Only private establishments that provide basic necessities, such as food and medicine, shall remain open. This includes public markets, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, hospitals, clinics, drug stores, pharmacies, manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products and medicine, money transfer services, banks, and energy, water, and telecommunications facilities. A strict skeletal workforce will be in place to support these operations, as well as strict social distancing measures.
No mass public transportation.
Mass public transportation facilities shall be suspended.
Land, air, and sea travel is restricted. If you plan on leaving the Philippines from an airport in Luzon, you can still travel within 24 hours from the start of the enhanced community quarantine.
Travelers coming into the Philippines will still be allowed entry, though subject to applicable quarantine procedures if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions. All Filipino citizens and their families, those with permanent resident visas, and those with diplomat visas will also be granted entry with applicable quarantine procedures.
Uniformed personnel for official business, particularly those transporting laboratory specimens for COVID-19, medical supplies, and other humanitarian aid, will be allowed entry. Movement of cargoes into and out of Luzon will be unhampered.
Programs for affected residents will be put into place.
Programs, measures, and projects will be formulated for affected workers and residents of Luzon. This may include moratorium on lease rentals, reprieve in utility bills, advancing a pro-rated 13th month pay, and assistance to micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises. Measures will also be expedited to distribute food assistance to those who are most affected.
If these guidelines and measures aren’t followed, appropriate action – both administrative and criminal – will be taken in accordance to the relevant laws and regulations. These measures and guidelines will be reviewed daily until the COVID-19 situation subsides.
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