MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The inter-agency task force leading the country's COVID-19 pandemic response has allowed a wider range of age groups, including the youth and seniors, to go out of their homes, easing a restriction meant to stop the spread of COVID-19, Malacañang said Friday.
The IATF, which met Thursday, authorized people from 15 to 65 years of age to go out, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
"Local government units (LGUs) may impose a higher age limit for minors, depending on the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions," he added.
Previous restrictions barred those aged below 21 and above 60 from going out with the exception of work, getting necessities and vacationing in Boracay island, under the current policy of a task force against the novel coronavirus.
Younger people "have fewer health risks," Roque said in a statement.
Meanwhile, 65 is the retirement age for most in the private sector, he added.
The IATF adjustment on age-based stay-at-home restrictions "is based on science and hard data," he said.
The task force also allowed leisure travel abroad from Oct. 21, and permitted movement between general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ areas.
The health department on Thursday recorded 2,261 new COVID-19 infections and 50 additional deaths. In a bulletin, the agency said total confirmed cases have increased to 348,698 while deaths reached 6,497, next only to Indonesia for the most COVID-19 casualties in the Southeast Asian region.
It has been gradually reopening the economy to allow more businesses to resume operations and more people to go back to work, but partial restrictions in and around the capital Manila remain to keep the virus spread in check.
— With a report from Reuters