NCR Plus eases quarantine status to GCQ with heightened restriction

NCR Plus and other areas downgrade its quarantine status to a more relaxed General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

Coming from a more restrictive Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), the President has decided to ease quarantine protocols in the NCR Plus including Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, as well as other areas like Abra. This move was brought upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Iligan City, Davao City, Lanao del Sur, and Puerto Princesa City will also be under GCQ until May 31.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, May 13, 2021, approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to place the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from May 15 to 31, 2021.

However, the President stated that there are four areas that would remain under MECQ until the end of May, including the City of Santiago in Isabela, Zamboanga City, Quirino, and Ifugao. This was due to the spike of the COVID-19 virus within their localities. 

Roque stated that only individuals aged from 18 to 65 can leave their homes, plus, only “essential travel into and out of the NCR Plus” will be allowed. Moreover, travel from NCR Plus areas, except those conducted by Authorized Persons Outside Residence, will remain prohibited in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions. 

He also added that “Public transportation shall remain operational at such capacities and protocols in accordance with the Department of Transportation guidelines while the use of active transportation shall be promoted.”

Likewise, entertainment venues like theater, recreational venues, playgrounds, and more will not be allowed in the NCR Plus. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals will also be allowed up to 10% of the venue capacity—the same case with restaurants and other fast food establishments, as per Roque, NCR Plus shall be at 20% venue or seating capacity while outdoor or alfresco dining shall be at 50% venue or seating capacity. 

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