MECQ vs ECQ: What’s the difference?

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 12 2021 06:03 PM | Updated as of Apr 12 2021 06:54 PM

MECQ vs ECQ: What’s the difference? 1
Passengers observe physical distancing as they arrive at the Philippine National Railway (PNR) -Tutuban Station in Manila on April 12, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Malacañang on Monday enumerated differences between the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and the toughest lockdown level previously imposed over Metro Manila and 4 surrounding provinces. 

Metro Manila and Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces–which government calls NCR Plus–were under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the toughest of 4 lockdown levels, from March 29 until April 11 due to the alarming rise in new COVID-19 cases.

On Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered that NCR Plus, Quirino and Abra provinces, and Santiago City (in Isabela) shift to the looser MECQ from April 12 until the end of the month.

"Lahat pa rin po tayo, homeliners," Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque said in a news briefing on Monday.

(We are all still homeliners.)

Under ECQ and MECQ, those allowed to go out are only those aged 18 to 65 who need to get essential goods and services, and those working in allowed industries, as well as "Authorized Persons Outside Residence", Roque said in a press briefing. 

Although, under MECQ, local government may relax the age limit up to 15 years old, he added.

As regards curfew, Metro Manila mayors have agreed to impose it from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. during the MECQ, modifying the 6 p.m - 5 a.m. curfew imposed in the region and its neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal during the ECQ period last March 29 until April 11.

Roque said he has yet to get the new curfew hours in the other areas covered by MECQ classification.

Outdoor exercise including walks, jogging, or biking is allowed under MECQ, within the "general area" of one's residence, said Roque. During ECQ, outdoor exercise was only allowed from 6 to 9 a.m.

During MECQ, religious gatherings at 10 percent of a venue's capacity are allowed, and local governments are authorized to raise this to 30 percent, he said. Such gatherings were banned during the ECQ.

Roque also said that gatherings for necrological service, wakes, interment and funerals are permitted during the MECQ implementation.

Industries that are allowed to operate during MECQ include the following, he added. 

MECQ vs ECQ: What’s the difference? 2
MECQ vs ECQ: What’s the difference? 3
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Screenshots from slideshow from Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

Screenshots from slideshow from Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

Screenshots from slideshow from Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

Screenshots from slideshow from Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

Screenshots from slideshow from Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

Among those that remain banned are bars, clubs, internet cafes, theme parks, billiard halls, gyms, spas, swimming pools, museums, and outdoor tourist attractions, Roque said. 

Face-to-face classes are still suspended, he added. 

The Philippines has recorded 876,225 COVID-19 cases, among the highest in Asia, as of Monday. Of these, 157,451 or 18 percent are active.

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