Metro Manila bans caroling, suspends Christmas parties in war vs COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 27 2020 09:02 AM | Updated as of Nov 27 2020 09:29 AM

Vendors arrange displays of various Christmas decor for sale at a store in Divisoria on Oct. 23, 2020.

MANILA - Mayors of Metro Manila will ban the traditional Christmas caroling this holiday season to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the chairman of the capital region's council said Friday.

"Naglabas na kami ng executive order na walang physical caroling na mangyayari dito sa darating na Kapaskuhan," Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez told Teleradyo.

(We have issued an executive order that there will be no physical caroling this coming Christmas.)

The Metro Manila Council also agreed to suspend Christmas parties in public offices, he said.

The private sector is also discouraged from holding the traditional Christmas event, as only up to 10 people can join gatherings under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

The government has previously encouraged the public to limit Christmas celebrations to family members.

Olivarez said they would be creating task forces to monitor the no-caroling policy all over the metropolis. They will also ask village officials to keep an eye on carolers in their respective areas.

The inter-agency task force leading the country's pandemic response has already approved the recommendation of the Metro Manila mayors to prohibit caroling to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Latest data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed Metro Manila, home to some 12 million people, has the most number of coronavirus infections in the country with 196,415 cases.

It also led with the most number of new COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days with 3,949.

Metro Manila mayors earlier agreed to keep the GCQ status, the 3rd strictest of 4 lockdown levels, in the region until the end of the year.

It has been under GCQ since August, with stricter lockdowns enforced in earlier months as COVID-19 infections rose. Only select businesses are allowed to operate at full capacity in GCQ areas.

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