Friday, July 30, 2021

Metro Manila (& other provinces) ECQ and MECQ Guidelines for August 2021


The latest Community Quarantine Classification approved by The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Thursday, August 19, was to place the National Capital Region (NCR) and the province of Laguna under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) beginning August 21, 2021 until August 31, 2021.

The IATF likewise approved to put the province of Bataan under MECQ beginning August 23, 2021 until August 31, 2021.

These latest classifications are without prejudice to the strict implementation of granular lockdowns.

Indoor and al-fresco dine-in services, and personal care services including beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops and nail spas shall not be allowed in the NCR, Laguna and Bataan.

Also, religious gatherings shall remain virtual in the NCR, Bataan and Laguna. 

In other words, the only difference between the ECQ below, and the MECQ which was just announced, is just the "Ayuda". There's no "ayuda" under MECQ 😭😭😭!  

Quarantine Pass is also not required anymore.

From August 6 to August 20, 2021, the NCR shall be escalated to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).  The heightened restrictions for NCR are more stringent compared to the GCQ with heightened restrictions of other areas. 

What activities are allowed and not allowed during August ECQ?

In NCR, indoor dine-in services and al fresco dining are prohibited. Only take-out and delivery are allowed. For people working in these establishments, operations are allowed to continue and finish within the day. 

On the other hand, personal care services, such as beauty salons, beauty parlors, barber shops and nail spas may operate up to 30% of venue or seating capacity.   

Indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions and specialized markets of the Department of Tourism (DOT) may not operate. Outdoor tourist attractions, as may be defined by the DOT, shall remain to be allowed at 30% venue capacity.  

Only Authorized Persons Outside their Residences shall be allowed to travel into and out of the NCR Plus Area, which includes Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal. 

Only virtual religious gatherings shall be allowed. Check online and TV daily mass schedule HERE. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed, provided they are limited to immediate family members.   

Other provisions of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of the Community Quarantine in the Philippines, as amended, not affected by the above restrictions shall continue to take effect, including those on the operation of public transportation.  The use of active transportation shall likewise be promoted.  

Gingoog City, Iloilo City, Iloilo Province, and Cagayan de Oro City shall remain under ECQ from August 1 until August 7, 2021.

Cebu City and Cebu Province have been added to areas under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) starting August 1 until August 15, 2021, subject to further appeals by their local government units.

For Luzon, Ilocos Norte and Bataan; and for the Visayas, Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City are under MECQ from August 1 until August 15, 2021.

Placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions from August 1 to August 15, 2021 are Ilocos Sur; Cagayan;  Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and Lucena City in Region 4-A and Naga City for Luzon; Antique, Aklan, Bacolod City and Capiz in Region 6 and Negros Oriental for the Visayas; Zamboanga del Sur; Misamis Oriental; Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental and Davao de Oro in Region 11 and Butuan City for Mindanao.

On the other hand, Baguio City and Apayao in the Cordillera Administrative Region; Santiago City, Quirino, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya in Region 2; Batangas and Quezon in Region 4-A and Puerto Princesa for Luzon; Guimaras and Negros Occidental in Region 6; Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga City and Zamboanga del Norte in Region 9; Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur in Region 11; General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and South Cotabato in Region 12; Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands in CARAGA and Cotabato City in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are placed under GCQ from August 1 to August 31, 2021.

All other areas are placed under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) classification from August 1 to August 31, 2021.


Curfew will also be imposed from August 6-20, 2021.

Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR), as specified by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and individuals who will be vaccinated shall be exempted from the curfew hours provided that they present appropriate documentation to authorities, such as their quarantine passes used during previous ECQ.

Public & Private allowed during ECQ

Announcement from DOTr's FB page indicated that The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed the continued operation of public transportation, at such capacity and supply as recommended by the DOTr. Secretary Tugade, however, stressed that only Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) as identified by the IATF-EID will be accommodated by public transport services. "Restrictions will be applied on passengers. There will be stricter enforcement to ensure that only APORs are permitted to use public transport, as mandated by the IATF," said Tugade. “APORs are reminded to be ready to present to transport marshals identification cards issued by the IATF or other documents or IDs as proof that they are authorized to travel,” Tugade added.

During the ECQ, public transportation, and all other modes of transportation - privately-owned, with special permit, and/or dedicated service under government initiative, etc., shall strictly observe the prescribed physical distancing and sanitary measures at all times.

Road Transport Sector
During the enforcement of the ECQ in the NCR, public utility vehicles, such as buses and jeepneys are allowed to operate at 50% capacity on a “one-seat-apart” setup. Standing passengers will not be allowed, and only one passenger will be allowed at the driver’s row.

Motorcycle taxi services and Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) operations are allowed during the ECQ period.

The use of active transport, such as bicycles and electric scooters, is being encouraged.

For tricycles, passenger load shall not exceed one (1) passenger in the side-car. Further, the operations of tricycles shall be approved by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Local Government Units (LGUs) in compliance with the existing policies on its operational limitations.

Railways Sector
All trains of the Philippine National Railways, LRT-1, LRT-2, the PNR and the MRT-3 will be deployed during the ECQ period. Secretary Tugade said all trains will have transport marshals to enforce health protocols and to identify APORs. Trains will also be disinfected after every loop. 

Transport marshals inside the trains will also strictly enforce health and safety protocols which include the wearing of face shields and masks at all times; compliance to the "no talking and eating' policy; ensuring adequate airflow and ventilation; and enforcement of social distancing, as well as proper disinfection and sanitation.

Passengers showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board trains. Temperature checks will be done at station entrances.

Aviation and Maritime Sectors
Meanwhile, domestic flights and sea travel in the NCR will also continue during the ECQ, subject to community quarantine restrictions of the destinations.

The DOTr advises passengers to avoid inconvenience by first inquiring with their airlines or shipping lines/Ro-Ro about the status of flights/sea travels, and if they are allowed to board such flights before going to the airport or seaport.

Strict Enforcement of Health Protocols
Secretary Tugade said stricter health protocols will be also be enforced by I-ACT enforcers and transport marshals at the various transport terminals and stations to make sure that public transport health protocols will be observed.

Marshals would be strictly enforcing the seven commandments of public transport safety at the transport stations and terminals, and inside public transport vehicles. 

The 7 Commandments for Public Transport, based on the recommendations of health experts, are:
1. Wear masks and face shields;
2. No talking and making phone calls;
3. No eating;
4. Keep public utility vehicles well-ventilated;
5. Conduct frequent disinfection;
6. No passengers with COVID-19 symptoms are to be allowed inside the public transportation; and
7. Observe appropriate physical distancing (“one-seat-apart”) rule.

Travel restrictions are still in place for travelers from India, Oman, Pakistan, UAE, Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Thailand

//source: Harry Roque & DOTr FB page//

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