All city mayors have agreed to impose an 8pm to 5am curfew on the entire National Capital Region, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced today.
Roque told CNN Philippines’ The Source that the country’s COVID-19 task force had a meeting with Metro Manila mayors last night where they agreed to impose stricter quarantine protocols despite Metro Manila’s transition back into the general community quarantine (GCQ) today.
“I understand that the mayors voted and there was a majority [vote] that the curfew hours should be 8 [pm] to 5 [am],” Roque said.
Metro Manila, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal will remain under GCQ until Aug. 31. Earlier this month, the areas were placed under a two-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) after medical workers called for a stricter lockdown to cope with rising COVID-19 cases.
The Philippines has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia with 169,213 recorded as of yesterday, including 2,678 deaths and 112,861 recoveries.
Meanwhile, Roque added that churches which were previously allowed to gather up to 10% of its capacity, are now only allowed to house only 10 devotees at a time.
“Even if we’re in GCQ, mass gatherings are allowed for up to 10 persons only, religious services included. That means it is no longer the case that religious gatherings are allowed up to 10% capacity, it is now only 10 people strictly.”
He also clarified that the government has taken back its rule of allowing several establishments to reopen under GCQ.
“We have not allowed the operations of gyms, of internet cafes, as well as review centers and tutorial centers,” Roque said, adding that there was public confusion because the Trade Department had announced that the businesses were allowed to reopen.
“But actually before MECQ was imposed, the Cabinet in an emergency meeting decided to temporarily suspend the opening of new businesses, and that resolution still stands [under GCQ], this was affirmed in the meeting last night,” Roque said.
He added that “restaurants’ dine-in and salon [services] will remain open,” but they are leaving it to local government units to decide whether the said establishments will operate at 30% or 50% capacity.