Through Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, President Rodrigo Duterte gave the go-signal to revert NCR Plus Bubble aka Greater Manila Area ( Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) to ECQ beginning this Monday, March 29 up to April 4, 2021 amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
“Inaprubahan po ng ating Presidente ang rekomendasyon ng inyong IATF na ilagay muli sa enhanced community quarantine o ECQ ang National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna at Rizal (The President has approved the IATF’s recommendation to once again place National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under enhanced community quarantine or ECQ),” Roque said.
Roque also mentioned the curfew hours will be strictly enforced from 6PM to 5AM.
An ECQ status mandates all households to observe strict home quarantine. Movements will be limited to Authorized Persons Outside Residence, those accessing essential goods and services, and workers in establishments allowed to operate.
Mass gatherings (more than 10 persons outside and non-household members indoors) and face-to-face classes are also prohibited in ECQ zones. Mass transportation is allowed at limited capacity.
Duterte will be celebrating his birthday today in Davao, according to Roque but the President will also welcome the arrival of the arrival of 1 million procured Sinovac vaccines on Monday, March 29 as soon as the exemption from mass gathering is approved by the IATF.
Other essential guidelines under the ECQ are:
- Dining establishments for take-out and delivery only
- The government and the private sector may resume essential and priority constructions projects, so long as they follow the guidelines issues by the Department of Public Works and Highways;
- People aged below 18 and above 65, people with comorbidities, and pregnant women will not be allowed to go out, unless they need to either obtain essential goods and services or work in office;
- Travel and quarantine passes no longer needed;
- Full operation of public and private hospitals; health, emergency, and front-line services; manufacturers of medicines and medical supplies; agriculture, forestry; and fishery; and delivery and courier services transporting food, medicine, or other essential goods is allowed within NCR Plus;
- Private establishments offering essential goods and services, as well as media establishments, can operate at 50 percent capacity.
- Other establishments that can adopt a skeleton workforce include dental clinics, optometry clinics, pharmacies, veterinary clinics, banks, money transfer services, telecommunications companies, manufacturing firms, funeral and embalming services, and security personnel.
Roque assured that the government would exert all efforts to stop the further transmission of Covid-19.
“Huwag po tayong mawawalan ng loob. Tinitiyak po natin na handa ang gobyerno at tutulungan po kayo (Do not lose hope. We assure that the government is ready and will help you),” he said.
The highest single-day tally the country has recorded since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic was on Friday at 9,838 new cases.