Remember when the government announced that low-risk areas in the country will no longer be placed under any type of community quarantine (CQ)? Well, they had to backtrack on that declaration yesterday as they announced that all low-risk areas will be put under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) starting on May 16, 2020.
Today, the government has made revisions once more and declared that all low-risk areas will instead revert to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) beginning tomorrow, May 16. According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) decided to put the said areas under GCQ since the guidelines for MGCQ have yet to finalized.
“Sa ngayon po, hinihintay pa rin natin iyong guidelines. I guess for simplicity purposes, (let’s stick with) general community quarantine muna,” said Roque.
[For now, we’re still waiting for the guidelines. I guess for simplicity purposes, let's stick with general community quarantine first.]
Under GCQ guidelines, all persons aged below 21 and below, as well as seniors aged 60 and above, are still not allowed to go out of their homes. Public transportation is now available but they have to follow strict social distancing measures. Also, all government agencies must observe an alternative working arrangement such as a four-day workweek setup.
By May 16, all areas in the country will be placed under GCQ except for Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu City; they will be placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). Meanwhile, inter-zonal movements between areas placed under GCQ will be allowed but is subject to safety protocols come May 16.
As for those living in MECQ areas, Roque said they can get to work so as long as their industry is allowed and that they have proper identification of where they work, as well as where they live. All non-essential travel, however, will still require clearance from their respective LGUs.
“Ang kailangan lang po nila is employment ID at saka iyong ID na nagpapatunay kung saan sila nakatira,” said Roque.
[All they need is an employment ID and an ID showing where they live]
With the country slowly starting to reopen its economy, it's expected that more people will venture outside of their homes in order to get to work. But with the threat of COVID-19 still present, we all have to strictly follow social distancing guidelines, wear face masks, as well as maintain proper hygiene at all times to avoid transmitting or catching the deadly virus.