Gov't halts return trips of stranded individuals to 3 areas

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 08 2020 12:10 PM | Updated as of Sep 08 2020 03:13 PM

MANILA (UPDATE)-- Malacañang said Tuesday the government has suspended return trips of stranded individuals in Metro Manila to three areas in Visayas and Mindanao as it tightened virus restrictions in parts of the Philippines.

Return trips of stranded individuals to Western Visayas (Region 6), Iligan City, and Lanao del Sur are suspended until Sept. 21, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

"The moratorium is effective only for 14 days from September 7 until September 21, 2020," he said in a statement.

The decision comes as Bacolod City in Western Visayas, Iligan City, and Lanao del Sur were placed under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine until Sept. 30.

"Restricted po 'yung movements (movements are restricted) except for essential businesses and allowed activities under MECQ," COVID-19 policy chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez told ABS-CBN News.

The rest of the Philippines, meanwhile, remains under more relaxed community quarantines until the end of the month.

Some local government units had earlier expressed hesitation in accepting stranded passengers from Metro Manila, as local cases in other parts of the country had come from returnees from the capital region, the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the country.