MANILA— Malacañang on Friday reminded the public of rules and restrictions under the second toughest of lockdown levels that would be hoisted over Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan starting Saturday.
The capital region and nearby Laguna will be under modified enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 21 to Aug. 31, while Bataan will shift to the same lockdown level starting Aug. 23 until the end of the month.
"While workers can resume limited onsite operations with the shift to MECQ, these re-classifications are without prejudice to the imposition of localized or granular lockdowns in critical areas," said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
He said local government units in these areas were directed to further improve their vaccination rates, strategies against COVID-19, and the observance of health protocols.
Under MECQ, indoor and al-fresco dine-in services, and personal care services including beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops and nail spas shall not be allowed, Roque said in a statement.
Religious gatherings shall remain online or virtual in Metro Manila, Laguna and Bataan during this period, he added.
Necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals shall be allowed, provided that immediate family members of the deceased who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall present proof of relationship and fully comply with health standards, said the official.
The inter-agency task force on COVID-19 "decided that we all need to be strategic and purposive in our responses to control the further spread of COVID-19 and its variants," Roque said.
"Community quarantine is not the only solution to the pandemic," he continued.
Before shifting to MECQ, Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan are under the strictest lockdown level, the enhanced community quarantine, to curb a spike in COVID-19 cases linked to the highly contagious Delta variant of the disease.
The Philippines has tallied some 1.79 million coronavirus infections, among the highest in Asia.
Government aims to inoculate up to 70 million people before the year ends to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy. At least 12.8 million individuals have been fully vaccinated so far.