MANILA, Philippines – Unified curfew hours being implemented in Metro Manila will be shortened when the pilot implementation granular lockdowns and quarantine alert levels system starts on Thursday, Sept. 16, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Tuesday.
In a Palace briefing, MMDA chairperson Benjur Abalos said curfew hours in Metro Manila will be adjusted to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. starting Thursday.
Current curfew hours in Metro Manila under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification are from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
“Ito ho’y inuusad na. Nagbotohan kami (Metro Manila mayors), ilalabas namin ang resolution na ang implementasyon isasabay sa pilot, magiging 10 ng gabi hanggang 4 ng umaga,” Abalos said.
Earlier in the day, the national government announced Metro Manila’s shift to a new quarantine system but stressed that this is just a pilot test.
Based on the system’s guidelines issued on Monday night, cities of municipalities will be classified under Alert level 1 to 5, depending on the COVID-19 infection rate. The alert levels per area will be determined by the Department of Health.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said mayors in Metro Manila agreed to place the region under Alert Level 4 as a whole. This level covers areas with high COVID-19 case counts or high utilization rate of total ward and ICU beds.
Under Alert Level 4, the following are prohibited from going outside their residence:
- Persons below 18 years old
- Persons over 65 years old
- Those with immunodeficiencies, co-morbidities, or other health risks
- Pregnant women
Residents will only be allowed to leave their homes when accessing essential goods and services, or going to work in permitted industries and offices.
The guidelines also stated that intrazonal and interzonal travel for persons not otherwise required to remain at their residences may be allowed subject to the reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination.
Individual outdoor exercises shall be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status but shall be limited within the general area of their residence provided, that the minimum public health standards and precautions such as the wearing of facemasks, and the maintenance of social distancing protocols are observed.
Outdoor or al fresco dine-in services in restaurants and eateries shall be allowed at a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity regardless of vaccination status. Indoor dine-in services may be allowed at a limited 10%.
Indoor dine-in services may be allowed at a limited 10% venue/seating capacity but will cater only to individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor or al fresco capacity.
The guidelines also said that in-person religious gatherings shall be allowed at a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity if conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status. These gatherings may be allowed at a limited 10% venue/seating capacity but may accommodate only individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor capacities.
Provided, that pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, or other religious ministers and the assistants of these religious congregations have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed, provided that the same shall be limited to immediate family members, upon satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and with full compliance with the prescribed minimum public health standards.