Gov't bars Masses, gatherings anew in general quarantine areas

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 01 2020 12:32 PM | Updated as of May 01 2020 04:02 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Masses and other gatherings will remain prohibited under the "new normal," following numerous complaints and consultations with local officials, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Friday.

"Inuulit ko po, pinakinggan po ng IATF [Inter Agency Task Force] ang tawag ng mga lokal na opisyales at pinagbabawal muli ang mga work gatherings at religious activities sa areas covered by GCQ," Roque said.

(I am repeating, the IATF listened to the call of local officials and work gatherings and religious activities in areas covered by the GCQ are barred again.)

The government rescinded the policy on Friday, just a day after it announced that religious and other essential work-related gatherings may be allowed in areas that shifted to a general community quarantine from the high-level enhanced community quarantine. 

Roque said almost all religious sects agreed to prohibit gatherings as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus pandemic.

"Sang-ayon po sila na 'wag muna ituloy ang mga religious meetings habang tayo po ay merong GCQ," he said.

(They agreed not to push through with religious meetings while we are still under GCQ.)

"Alam ko po marami sa atin gusto na sumamba sa simbahan pero sa ngayon po pinagbabawal pa po natin muli 'yan. Sabi naman po sa IATF meeting, marami naman pong alternatibo ngayon. Halos lahat po ng pananampalataya ay nasa Internet, 'di naan kaya sa radyo, telebisyon, o 'di naman kaya sa personal sa ating Panginoon," he added.

(I know many of us want to worship at the church but for now, that's not allowed. There are many alternatives any way. You can do it online, listen to the radio or watch the television or be personal with the Lord.)

Only Metro Manila and areas at high-risk of a coronavirus outbreak remained under lockdown, as of Friday, until May 15.