Written by: Rita Magallona
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced at a press briefing last May 12 that Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu City will be placed under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MCQ) from May 16 to 31, 2020. Roque emphasized that the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is still in effect, except that more businesses will be allowed to operate to help give the economy a boost and prevent more unemployment.
What changed under the modified ECQ?
For areas going under the modified ECQ:
- More businesses will be allowed to operate, particularly select manufacturing and processing plants. These are businesses that can observe physical distancing.
- Limited transportation services will be allowed, but details are still being finalized.
- People’s movement to access essential services and to work will stay limited.
- Face-to-face classes will still be suspended.
- Local government officials are authorized to put barangays under stricter ECQ if these barangays show spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Other areas previously identified as high-risk, but have successfully slowed down the spread of the coronavirus, will be downgraded from ECQ to GCQ (general community quarantine). Areas under GCQ since May 1 would be placed under modified GCQ, recalling an earlier announcement that the community quarantine will be lifted in these areas. Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo A√±o emphasized that the whole country is under community quarantine but at different levels.
Metro Manila was placed under community quarantine last March 15, with the whole of Luzon placed under ECQ two days later. ECQ has been extended twice since then to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This extension would be the third since the Luzon-wide ECQ was declared on March 16, 2020. The ECQ was originally scheduled to end on April 12 but was later extended to April 30, then to the middle of May.
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