Metro Manila will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened and additional restrictions from July 30 to August 5, 2021. After that, the strictest lockdown level, enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), will be implemented from August 6 to 20.
The announcement came early on Friday after Metro Manila mayors met a day prior with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
Harry Roque, serving as Spokesperson for both the IATF and the President, announced the changes in a televised address. Returning to the strictest lockdown status has recently been called for by various groups to curb the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. Roque described the decision to shift to ECQ as "painful" but necessary to limit further local transmission of the variant.
Under ECQ, only essential industries and establishments are allowed to operate. These include hospitals, grocery stores, convenience stores, courier services, food delivery services, business process outsourcing companies, and some manufacturing companies.
Several industries and establishments will be allowed to operate with a skeletal workforce, including banks, teachers, medical clinics, power services, internet service providers, water and sanitation services, and some legal services.
COVID-19 vaccination drives will not be disrupted, according to Roque. Metro Manila mayors have also asked the national government for four million doses to accelerate the vaccination campaign in the wake of the Delta variant. Roque said that only two million doses could be available for Metro Manila, however.
Public transportation will be suspended under ECQ, although Roque stated that the Department of Public Transportation (DOTr) will consider allowing public transport at a limited capacity.
With public transport being suspended starting August 6, we recommend motorists plan their schedules ahead of time. Changes in traffic are possible, so consider using alternative roads like the Skyway and other expressways.