'New normal': What to expect and which provinces are covered?

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 24 2020 02:25 PM | Updated as of Apr 27 2020 11:43 AM

'New normal': What to expect and which provinces are covered? 1
Residents on their last minute supply run at the Trabajo market in Sampaloc Manila, a few hours before the “hard lockdown” on April 23, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Millions living in areas excluded from the extended coronavirus lockdown would have to adjust to a "new normal" starting next month as the country makes changes to adapt to the effects of the pandemic.

The "new normal" is equivalent to a general community quarantine starting May 1, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a briefing Friday. This, however, is still subject to changes based on government monitoring.

Under the new scheme, children from 0 to 20 years old, seniors 60 and above, and those with health risks are advised to stay at home.

The rest, however, may leave their homes to go to work and buy basic necessities.

Here's how sectors of society will operate under the "new normal":


Those belonging to the 21-59 age group can go out of their homes and go to work according to the guidelines of the government's inter-agency task force.

Companies and businesses that would resume operations must comply with "minimum health standards" set by the government, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said.

"Kailangan po sumunod muna sa minimum health standards. Kung hindi po masundan, hindi po pwede magbukas," he said.

Work can resume in the following sectors on the following basis:


  • Agriculture, fishery, forestry, food manufacturing and supply chain, food retail (supermarkets, grocery stores), restaurants that are for take-out and delivery only, healthcare (hospitals, drug stores), logistics, water and energy firms, internet service providers, telecommunications and media


  • Manufacturing, electronics and exports, e-commerce and delivery for essential and non-essential items, repair and maintenance services, housing and office services


  • Financial services, business process outsourcing, other non-leisure wholesale and retail trade, and other non-leisure services

Priority and essential construction projects would likewise be allowed to resume, subject to minimum health standards, physical distancing, and provision of barracks or accommodation for workers.


Public transportation will resume but will operate on a reduced capacity. All ports and airports, meanwhile, will be open for transportation of goods.


High schools and higher education institutions are allowed to finish school terms and give credentials to students. The IATF also recommended that the reopening of schools be moved to September but this is still subject for discussion.


A curfew will also be imposed by local government units for non-workers.


Malls can reopen with limited types of shops allowed to operate such as supermarkets, drugstores, banks, laundry services, restaurants (for take-out and delivery), and hardware.

Malls should also remove free wifi and raise the aircon temperature to 26 degrees. Operators are also required to conduct temperature checks, wear masks, and use alcohol as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

Mall-goers must also be limited to those aged 21 to 59, carrying IDs, and "not looking sickly,"Roque said.


Government officials still encourage the public to stay home if they can and urge those who are going outside to wear masks, wash hands frequently, and practice physical distancing.


The following areas will start the shift to the "new normal" next month:


• Negros Occidental

• Negros Oriental

• Siquijor

• Davao del Sur

• Davao Oriental

• Sultan Kudarat

• Lanao del Sur


• Abra​

• Aurora​

• Ilocos Norte

• Ilocos Sur

• Apayao

• Batanes

• Mountain Province

• Ifugao

• Kalinga

• Quirino

• La Union

• Cagayan

• Isabela

• Nueva Vizcaya

• Marinduque

• Palawan

• Romblon

• Camarines Norte

• Camarines Sur

• Sorsogon

• Capiz

• Samar

• Western Samar

• Northern Samar

• Eastern Samar

• Masbate

• Guimaras

• Bohol

• Biliran

• Leyte

• Southern Leyte

• Zamboanga del Sur

• Lanao del Norte

• Misamis Occidental

• Misamis Oriental

• North Cotabato

• South Cotabato

• Maguindanao

• Zamboanga del Norte

• Zamboanga Sibugay

• Bukidnon

• Camiguin

• Davao Occidental

• Sarangani

• Agusan del Sur

• Dinagat Island

• Surigao del Norte

• Surigao del Sur

• Agusan del Norte

• Basilan

• Sulu