Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal or "NCR Plus" will all be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from Monday, Mar. 29, 2021 to Sunday, Apr. 4, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) said.
In a briefing on Saturday, Mar. 27, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has approved the IATF's recommendation.
This is after the country continues to log a record number of new infections, with 9,595 new cases recorded today, the second-highest since the pandemic hit the country.
Under the ECQ, a strict 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew will be imposed. Only authorized persons are allowed to leave their residence but is limited to accessing essential goods/services, work in permitted offices, and APOR. Those who are below 18 years old and over 65 years old must remain in their homes.
Similarly, indoor dining in enclosed spaces is also prohibited. Mass gatherings of more than 10 persons outside of the household is prohibited, as with public gatherings. Weddings, baptisms, and funerals are limited to persons in the immediate household.
Essential and priority construction projects, both by public and private sectors, will be allowed to continue with guidelines from the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation will also be allowed to operate per Department of Transportation's health protocols.
No malls, except for the essential stores such as groceries and pharmacies, hardwares, will be allowed to operate. Restaurants will be open only for take-out and delivery only—no al fresco dining will be allowed.
Staycations will also not be allowed in areas under ECQ, according to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat.
As of Saturday, Mar. 27, the country hits a record-high of 118,122 active COVID-19 cases after the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 9,595 new cases. 10 people have lost their lives, while 481 recovered from the virus.
Photo by KJ Rosales