Most Metro Manila mayors oppose lowering quarantine age restriction

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2021 02:11 PM

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MANILA - Most mayors in the capital region are against allowing individuals as young as 10 years old outside their homes, Metro Manila Council Chairman Edwin Olivarez said Monday.

The inter-agency task force leading the country’s pandemic response has allowed minors aged 10 to 14 to go out of their homes in areas under modified general community quarantine or MGCQ, the lowest quarantine classification.

Olivarez, mayor of Parañaque City, said the IATF allowed Metro Manila mayors to assess if they will allow the same. The capital region remains under general community quarantine, a level stricter than MGCQ.

"Dun po sa amin pong consensus sa isang meeting po namin, halos lahat po kami ay hindi po sumasang-ayon 'yung relaxing this age bracket," he told ANC's Headstart.

(In a consensus during one of our meetings, almost all of us disagreed with relaxing this age bracket.)

Pediatricians that the council consulted said it is not advisable to allow the lowering of the age bracket. 

He added, he personally thinks children aged 10 should not be allowed in malls, especially with reports of the COVID-19 variant from United Kingdom, which is believed to be more contagious.

"Yung paglabas nang leisure sa mall, tingin ko po, itong meron tayong UK na variant, until now, wala pang vaccine, personally and through the recommendation of our local task force, hindi po dapat payagan 'yung 10 years old, 'yung pag-adjust ng ating age bracket," he said.

(Going leisurely to malls, I think with the UK variant and the absence of vaccine until now, personally and through the recommendation of our local task force, we should not allow 10-year-olds, the adjustment of our age bracket.)

Metro Manila mayors barred the entry of minors in malls during the holiday season, except when accessing essential services, such as medical appointments.

Olivarez said they will be meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the lowering of the age restrictions and if Metro Manila is ready to shift to MGCQ.

He said for that to happen, there must be a steady decline in active cases across the region. In Parañaque, he reported that there were only 131 active COVID-19 cases and they had not had to impose granular lockdowns for months.

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