Heightened GCQ: More indoor dining, fewer people in churches
The Philippines is easing COVID-19 restrictions in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, with daily COVID-19 infections well down from a peak six weeks ago.
According to Metro Manila Council head and Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, the general community quarantine with heightened restrictions means allowing more people for indoor dining while also restricting the number of people in religious gatherings.
"The consensus of the Metro Manila Council is to relax the restrictions from MECQ to GCQ with heightened restrictions. This was submitted to the inter-agency task force and approved by President Duterte," he said in a TeleRadyo interview.
Under the GCQ with heightened restrictions, indoor dining in NCR Plus shall be allowed at 20-percent venue or seating capacity while outdoor or al fresco dining shall be at 50 percent.
However, gatherings for religious events as well as for funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 will be limited to up to 10% of the venue capacity.
"On religious gatherings, we brought it back to 10 percent. It used to be 30 percent," Olivarez said. "Kailangan lang po strict compliance itong heightened restriction."
The mayor said only those between the ages of 18-65 are allowed outdoors. Only essential trips are allowed outside NCR Plus.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque earlier said outdoor tourist attractions in the NCR Plus may be opened at 30 percent capacity.
The Philippine government remains on guard especially against more infectious coronavirus variants, and has temporarily barred travelers coming from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
The health ministry said on Tuesday that the country has detected two cases of a variant first identified in India, which is facing a devastating COVID-19 crisis. with Reuters
ABS-CBN TeleRadyo, May 14, 2021