MANILA - The National Task Force for COVID-19 on Tuesday released new protocols for motorcycle pillion riders or "backriding" in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).
Under the new rules, riders living in the same house do not need to use a motorcycle barrier.
However, those who do not live in the same house must have an approved backpack-like shield designed by ride-hailing company Angkas.
The pillion rider or "backrider" must also be an authorized personnel outside of residence (APOR), while the driver may or may not be an APOR.
The motorcycle must likewise be privately owned and not for hire.
Both the riders must have face masks and full-face helmets that must be worn all the time while riding the motorcycle.
Meanwhile, local authorities in areas under modified general community quarantine (GCQ) have the discretion to adapt or implement similar guidelines based on their local situation.
In July, the Inter-Agency Task Force on the government’s COVID-19 response allowed last week back-riding on motorcycles but only for couples living on the same household.
The IATF approved the recommendation submitted by Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap. Yap’s prototype is a protective shield mounted in between the rider and the passenger to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Aside from Yap, the IATF also approved other designs for the barrier including that of George Royeca of Angkas.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night downgraded the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the National Capital Region and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal to GCQ until Aug. 31
Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Minglanilla, Cebu and Consolacion, Cebu are also under GCQ until August 31, as was announced last Saturday.
The rest of the Philippines, meanwhile, will stay under modified general community quarantine.