Gov’t allows essential work, religious gatherings in GCQ areas starting May 1
Marje Pelayo • April 30, 2020 • 359
MANILA, Philippines —The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of the Emerging Infections Diseases (IATF-MEID) has allowed the movement of essential workers and the conduct of religious gatherings in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 1.
The Task Force emphasized, however, that minimum health standards must be observed at all times to ensure protection against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.
“Sa religious and work meetings, dapat two meters ang distansya sa mga nag-a-attend ng work meetings at religious gatherings [In religious and work meetings, attendees must observe two-meter distance from one another],” stressed Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque.
Specifically, the Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of the GCQ states that: “Essential work gatherings and religious activities may continue so long as strict social distancing, defined as strict maintenance of at least two meters distance between and among those attending, and the mandatory wearing of face mask, face shield, or other facial protective equipment by attendees is maintained during the entirety of the event.”
Still, under the GCQ, the movement of people for leisure purposes remains prohibited. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday announced that religious gatherings involving attendees of up to 10% of the venue capacity will soon be allowed in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this is based on the latest resolution approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases following calls for the partial reopening of places of worship.
Roque said the new policy will take effect next Friday, July 10.
“Magkakaroon muna po tayo ng dry run na 10% itong darating na linggo, pero yung 10% po na allowed na ang lahat ay magsisimula po ng July 10,” he said in a televised press briefing.
The Palace official stressed that public health standards such as physical distancing, wearing of face mask, disinfection and hand hygiene, should be strictly followed.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced that the following areas will be under GCQ from July 1 to July 15:
National Capital Region
Towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu Province
Roque also announced that operation of travel agencies in GCQ areas will also be allowed but only limited to a skeleton workforce.
The Department of Trade and Industry will also release a set of guidelines on additional services that will be allowed in salons and barbershops.
The latest IATF resolution also states that practice and conditioning sessions for professional basketball and football teams will also be permitted.
Roque said the move comes after a joint administrative order was signed between the Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusements Board, and the Department of Health to allow limited physical activities amid the community quarantine. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to extend the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Cebu City until July 15, 2020.
The President noted the “stubbornness” of its residents despite strict government protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19. He cited the situation in Talisay City where people tend to ignore social distancing protocols, with some even engaging in drinking sprees and gambling.
“Ayaw ninyo maniwala, bakit marami? One of the reasons — even without consulting the Body— because you did not follow rules,” President Duterte said.
“You have the highest. Cebu is now the new hotspot for COVID-19. Bakit? Marami sa inyo ay hindi sumusunod,” he added.
The President expressed concern over the situations in Cebu City which he hopes will improve through the supervision of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the following areas will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until July 15:
Talisay City, Minglanilla and Consolacion Municipalities in Cebu Province
The President commended the response of residents in the said areas to the government-imposed protocols which helped slow down the rate of COVID-19 infection.
“You know Manila, maraming tao but because sumunod nila — with few violations thereabout— we here in Manila have a good chance of at least avoiding it,” he said.
To save the economy, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguz recommended to the President the further relaxing of quarantine measures in Metro Manila and the CALABARZON region.
The rest of the country, meanwhile, will remain under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) specifically those identified as moderate and low risk areas where localized community quarantine and minimum health standards may strictly be observed. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
Authorities in Bournemouth, a popular coastal town in southern England, declared a “major incident” on Thursday (June 25) over what they called the irresponsible behavior of crowds who had ignored public health guidance on coronavirus and badly overstretched local services.
The declaration came after visitors arrived in huge numbers in a spell of hot weather, resulting in gridlock on the roads, illegal overnight camping, excessive waste, anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled fights.
Social distancing measures have been in place in Britain since March to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, although the rules are due to be significantly relaxed from July 4.
With pubs still closed, many people have been heading to parks and beaches to meet friends and drink alcohol, in some cases ignoring advice to keep two metres apart.
In Bournemouth, roads were obstructed by illegal parking, crews were abused as they attempted to empty overflowing bins and 33 tonnes of waste had to be removed from the stretch of coastline in and around the town on Thursday morning.
The emergency response will involve extra police patrols, security to protect rubbish collectors, additional parking enforcement, evictions of unauthorized campers and signage on approach roads warning people not to come. (Reuters)
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