NCOV-19 Social Distancing and Community Quarantine

Following the string of press conferences, the government has implemented an enhanced quarantine throughout Metro Manila, many different rules and regulations have been stated and are set to be implemented from March 15, 2020, to April 14, 2020 – subject to daily review by the government. For those of us inside the city where there are quite a few people roaming around. The intent of these implementations is clear, to limit social contact between individuals to minimize the spread of COVID-19. 

Here's a quick guide on several of the aspects pertaining to mobility in the city. 

UPDATE: Entry and exit from Metro Manila is now heavily regulated and limited to only key individuals. 

The number coding scheme has been lifted for the community quarantine. It was stated that the lift is indefinite. All registered cars can go on the road regardless of the day of the week. 

Mass gatherings such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities shall be prohibited. Assemblies that are non-essential and not work-related shall also be prohibited. Religious activities and essential work-related meetings can continue and attendees are to practice social distancing. A radius of at least 1 meter must be kept between individuals and must be maintained to mitigate risk. 

Many events that were to be conducted by the brands have since been canceled following the outbreak. The 2020 Manila International Auto Show is a large gathering of brands and attendees, as are car launches. Several brands have resorted to digitally unveiling their newest products to mitigate risk, and test-drive events are now canceled. 

Scattered around Metro Manila these checkpoints will screen motorists from entering and exiting the city. These areas will be manned by personnel who will screen individuals before passing through several main roads going around and leading to and from the Metro. Certain measures will be taken and screening will take place. The personnel manning these stations will check vehicle occupancy and vehicle operator health. 

Work from home arrangements will be implemented for all companies except for the PNP, AFP PCG, Health workers, emergency frontline services, border control, and other critical services that cater to people's needs and utilities will be exempted. These individuals will serve as the skeletal workforce and must follow strict social distancing measures. 

Private establishments that provide basic necessities such as food, medicine, water shall remain open. These include public markets, supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores, hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies, drug stores, food preparation and delivery services, water-refilling stations, and manufacturing and processing plants of food and medicine. 

Establishments that cater to financial needs will also be open, such as banks and money transfer services. 

Utilities such as electricity, water, power, and telecommunications shall remain open. 

Cargo and freight can move to and from Luzon with guidelines to be followed by the crew and personnel in charge of transporting. 

Business processing outsourcing establishments and export-oriented industries will remain operational subject to the condition that strict social distancing measures are observed and appropriate temporary accommodations are made by March 18, 2020, and that a skeletal workforce shall be implemented. 

All non-essential businesses will be closed, these include malls, car dealerships, and retail stores selling non-essential supplies such as food, water, and medicine. 

The strict home quarantine will be observed in all households, which means everyone who is not part of the skeletal workforce must stay at home. However, 1 individual may leave the house in order to access and procure basic necessities such as food, and provisions that are essential to health. 

Private cars may still go on Metro Manila's roads, provided that they're on the road to get supplies for their household. A one-car-one-person policy will be followed. 

UPDATE: Mass public transportation is now suspended as of March 17, 2020, which includes Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS), MRT-3, LRT-1 and LRT-2, PNR, Public Utility Buses (PUBs), Public Utility Jeeps (PUJs), UV Express, FX, P2P Buses, Motorcycle Taxis, and Taxis. 

There will be a curfew enacted from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am the next day. This will be for individuals leaving to get supplies. Subsequently, health workers, law enforcement and all other aforementioned essential personnel will be allowed out later than between curfew hours. 

This article will be continually updated as more developments come. 

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