The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Tuesday, Oct. 12, that mayors in the nation's capital have agreed to shorten curfew hours from 12 midnight to 4 AM starting Wednesday, Oct. 13.
The news comes as COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) continue to drop. Despite the new curfew hours, the MMDA has reminded the public to observe minimum health and safety standards. Curfew hours have steadily eased over the past weeks and months.
The previous directive was from 10 PM to 4 AM, and before that, it was from 8 PM to 4 AM. With this latest development, the government hopes to stimulate the economy and encourage more businesses to open later at night. Due to this, we expect some changes in traffic within Metro Manila. Motorists can take alternate roads like the Skyway and other expressways. Drivers should still be on the lookout for quarantine checkpoints within the National Capital Region (NCR), as some may still be active.
In light of the dropping COVID-19 cases, Malacañang palace said that Metro Manila could downgrade to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) alert level 3 as soon as this week. The area is currently under alert level 4, the second-highest designation in a 5-level system.
Under alert level 3, more relaxed quarantine restrictions would be in place. Persons of all ages would be allowed to go out, subject to local government unit (LGU) rules. Interzonal travel and outdoor exercise would similarly be permitted for all ages. Indoor dining and personal care service capacity would be increased to 30%, with an additional 10% if the establishment has a safety seal.
As the country continues to ease quarantine restrictions, citizens are advised to take caution in returning to more normal activities. The threat of the pandemic still looms large, but we can breathe easier knowing that we have more time before curfew hours are imposed each night.