Last night, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte addressed the nation and effectively placed the entire Metro Manila under a “limited lockdown” following the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This covers Manila, Pasig, San Juan, Makati, Paranaque, Mandaluyong, Las Pinas, Pateros, Taguig, Marikina, Quezon City, Navotas, Malabon, Valenzuela, Pasay, Muntinlupa, and Caloocan.

As a result, a travel ban (by land, sea, and air) in and out of the National Capital Region (NCR) will be implemented starting 12:00 AM of March 15 until 11:59 PM of April 14. Details regarding the ban were still hazy as of last night. However, it has been cleared up that workers living outside of Metro Manila may still enter (provided they show proper identification) and that transportation of goods will continue.

If you plan to take advantage of the open roads brought about the travel ban by going on leisurely drives in places like Tanay, Rizal or beyond, we have some news for you. As reported by our two-wheel riding sister site, they spoke with an officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who said "all casual or leisure rides will be prohibited from the time being". While they may be referring to motorbikes, the same rules essentially apply to four-wheeled vehicles.

So, no you shouldn't try and go on chill leisurely drives for the duration of the lockdown, as authorities suggest it would be best to hold it off until the situation lightens. If you try to do so, expect to be met with checkpoints on roads leading in and out of Metro Manila. Worse yet, you might not be able to return so easily.

For those living near the borders of NCR, it is advised that you always carry a government-issued ID (with residential address). Otherwise, one may be refused entry into Metro Manila. If that’s the case, you may have to spend a good few weeks somewhere else in the country.