The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recently approved the interim workspace guidelines proposed by the trade and labor departments for areas under general community quarantine. These guidelines aim to curb the spread of COVID-19.
IATF Resolution No. 33 first and foremost mandates that companies should explore alternative work arrangements such as working-hour shifts, work-from-home arrangements, and rotation basis when feasible.
For workplaces that will be asking employees to come in, the following guidelines apply:
- Prolonged face-to-face interaction among employees, clients, and the like is discouraged.
- Masks should be worn at all times.
- Meetings that must be conducted in-person shall be kept to a minimum number of participants with a short duration. Videoconferencing should instead be used for lengthy or bigger meetings.
- The workplace set-up must ensure safe and proper physical distancing between workers. This includes rearranging office desks and providing barriers between tables.
- The layout of work stations should be redesigned for one-way flow, meaning there should be one direction when it comes to the movement in aisles, corridors, or walkways.
- The number of people inside an enclosed space such as a room, store, or hall will be limited.
- The number of people inside an elevator will be limited to observe the one-meter physical distancing. Using stairs as an alternative is encouraged but should still comply with physical distancing guidelines.
- For buildings with more than 2 accessible stairways, one stairway may be used exclusively for going up and another for going down.
- Roving officers will be tapped to ensure physical distancing and observance of minimum health protocols.
- There will be no sale events and free Wi-Fi in shopping malls to minimize contact among people.
- Foot traffic will be monitored inside malls.
- The number of people inside any establishment will be limited to a density of not more than one person per two square meters.
- The number of open entrances to malls will be reduced.
- Senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities will only be allowed to bring 1 companion.
- Malls must assign personnel in high-density areas.
- When using the escalators, mall-goers must stand on every other step to ensure physical distancing.
- Use of elevators will be limited to senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and pregnant women. The total number of elevator passengers should only be half of the original standard capacity.
- Malls should implement a one-way flow to decongest queues and facilitate movement.
- There will be a centralized pick-up location for delivery service providers.
- Seats for waiting should be reduced.
- Express lanes for customers are encouraged.
- Police visibility will be increased.
What areas are under GCQ?
The following areas are currently under GCQ: Aurora, Abra, Aklan, Apayao, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Basilan, Batanes, Biliran, Bohol, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Cagayan, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Capiz, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, Dinagat Island, Eastern Samar, Guimaras, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Kalinga, La Union, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Leyte, Maguindanao, Masbate, Marinduque, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Mountain Province, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Nueva Vizcaya, North Cotabato, Northern Samar, Palawan, Quirino, Romblon, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Siquijor, Sorsogon, Southern Leyte, Sultan Kudarat, Samar, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Sulu, Western Samar, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay.
When will other areas transition to GCQ?
Metro Manila, Central Luzon except for Aurora province, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Benguet, Albay, Iloilo including Iloilo City, Cebu including Cebu City, Bacolod City, Zamboanga City, and Davao City remain under Enhanced Community Quarantine until May 15.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque stated that ECQ may be lifted in some areas if the number of cases and death rate continue to slow down.
“If the data that shows that the spread of the disease is slowing down does not change and we still have the capacity to provide critical care, perhaps that is the direction we are taking,” Roque said.
“That is why our appeal for the remaining days… is stay at home so the IATF won’t have difficulties lifting the ECQ especially in Metro Manila.”
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