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This week, the Philippines finally ended one of the world’s longest lockdowns. Different parts of the country have transitioned to lower levels of quarantine to revitalize an uncertain economy and allow more people to go back to work.

4 Levels of Community Quarantine in the Philippines

Currently, there are four levels of quarantine in the country, with the Enhanced Community Quarantine having the strictest measures.

  1. Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) for high-risk areas
  2. Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) for moderate- to high-risk areas
  3. General Community Quarantine (GCQ) for moderate- to low-risk areas
  4. Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) proposed status for low-risk areas

Depending on the risk of community transmission, areas will transition from the ECQ down to lower levels of quarantine. These levels are determined by the government based on the advice of the Department of Health.

But what does this mean in practice?

IATF Guidelines on Implementing the Community Quarantine

Here’s an overview of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) general guidelines on what is allowed under each quarantine level.

1. Movement During the Community Quarantine

All Levels:

All frontliners and essential workers are allowed to travel, including health and emergency frontline service workers, government officials and frontline personnel, authorized humanitarian workers, and other authorized persons

ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ

High-risk individuals like the youth (below 21 years old), elderly (above 60 years old), pregnant women, immunocompromised, etc., should stay at home. Exception: persons in this category who need to access essential goods or who work in allowed sectors may go outside.

MGCQ

People may move between GCQ areas and MGCQ areas except for leisure. However, movement to and from stricter quarantine levels is not allowed.

2. Public Transportation During the Community Quarantine

All Levels

Movement of cargo is allowed at all quarantine levels, but only a maximum of five people may operate a cargo vehicle.

ecq-mecq-gcq-mgcq-whats-difference-philippines-street-vehicles-aerial-view

ECQ and MECQ

All public transportation is suspended.

GCQ

Public transportation may operate at reduced capacity. Passengers should also observe social distancing (minimum of 1 meter).

MGCQ

Public transportation may operate as long as a one-meter distance between passengers is observed.

3. Work and Commerce During the Community Quarantine

The number of sectors allowed to operate increases as an area moves from one quarantine level to the lower quarantine levels: ECQ to MECQ to GCQ to MGCQ. Similarly, the number of commercial establishments allowed to open will also increase as quarantine levels downgrade.
Sounds complicated? Rest assured that the goal is to usher the country into the New Normal – the emerging practices and standards that will remain in place until COVID-19 has been eradicated by widespread immunization. Keep in mind that the Department of Health has set guidelines in Administrative Order 2020-0015 that must be observed under all quarantine levels.

Stay safe during the pandemic! As much as possible, stay indoors and keep your home virus-free.

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While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may have an impact on the accuracy of the information. The information may change without notice and Ohmyhome is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.

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