Religious gatherings of up to 10 people allowed in general quarantine areas - IATF

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2020 09:01 AM

Brothers of the Mary Mirror of Justice Parish bless residents with holy water as they make rounds in Barangay Comembo, Makati, April 3, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Most parts of the country that are under general community quarantine (GCQ), the least stringent form of coronavirus lockdown, will allow religious gatherings of up to 10 people from Saturday, government's inter-agency task force on pandemic response said.

"While adhering to the prescribed minimum health standards, religious gatherings are not encouraged but in any case should be not more than 10 persons," read the guidelines by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

This means religious services with a 10-person cap may be held in GCQ areas, or places across the country other than high-risk areas still under enhanced and modified lockdowns.

Metro Manila, Laguna province and several other "transitioning high-risk" areas in Central Luzon were placed under modified lockdown Saturday following two months of strict restrictions, restarting the economy by allowing almost all industries to operate up to 75 percent.

Cebu and Mandaue cities in the Visayas will, meanwhile, stay under the strictest lockdown or enhanced community quarantine, said the IATF.

Areas under the modified lockdown will allow "highly restricted" religious gatherings "limited to not more than 5 persons," said the IATF.

Religious gatherings remain prohibited under ECQ.

The strictest lockdown, however, will allow the movement of pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and other religious ministers who will lead necrological or funeral rites.

"Immediate family members of the deceased from causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed to move from their residences to attend the wake or internment of the deceased upon satisfactory proof of their relationship with the latter and social distancing measures," said the IATF.
 
Leisure activities such as movie screenings, concerts, sports events and other entertainment-related activities are still barred in all lockdown levels.

Read the full guidelines here:

Latest IATF guidelines