MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Metro Manila will transition to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) next week, President Rodrigo Duterte announced Thursday night, following a 2-month lockdown imposed in the country to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Other areas that will be placed under GCQ from June 1 are regions 2, 3, 4A, Pangasinan, Albay and Davao City, he said.
"In other areas, it will be again a piecemeal basis depending of the viability to meet the challenges of COVID. From time to time, [presidential spokesperson Harry] Roque will give us the places where there will be changes," Duterte said in a public address streamed online.
Almost all industries except for leisure and amusement services will be allowed to operate in GCQ areas but in varying levels based on the guidelines of the inter-agency task force.
The rest of the country will meanwhile shift to a modified GCQ, which is one step closer to the "new normal" or the full lifting of community quarantine protocols.
Duterte reminded the public to adhere to general health standards as a large part of the country adjusts to the new normal.
"Let's move to so-called new normal... Remember the COVID microbes are still in the air that you breathe, that you pass on to your fellowmen," the President said.
"The state has every right to control your movement if you pass on the contagion to other population," he added.
To date, the Philippines has recorded 15,588 coronavirus infections, with 921 deaths and 3,598 recoveries.
--With a report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News