ECQ vs MCQ: What’s the difference?

COVID-19 community quarantines in the Philippines

ECQ vs MCQ: What’s the difference?
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What’s the difference between ECQ and modified ECQ?

The start of the new decade was met with unexpected events with the Covid-19 pandemic. Life changed dramatically within a small amount of time. We are living in tough times right now and the best way to combat this virus is to cooperate with the authorities properly.

ECQ vs MCQ: What’s the difference?
ECQ vs MCQ: What’s the difference?

In an attempt to starve the virus, the Philippine government issued a nationwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) order in March 16 that lasted until April 15. On April 15, it was extended for another two weeks until April 30. On April 30, the ECQ order became general community quarantine (GCQ) on low-risk areas but remained on high-risk areas including Metro Manila. ECQ was finally lifted on May 15 for Metro Manila, when it became the current quarantine order under the name of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ or MCQ).

While cooperating with the government is necessary, following orders become difficult when we don’t know what orders to follow. A lot of Filipinos become assured that the MECQ is less strict than the ECQ and believe in the myths and rumors spread around. Fellow Filipinos, it is essential to be informed with the correct orders. This way, we know we are not violating any community quarantine orders. We have to inform ourselves in order to effectively flatten the curve of Covid-19 cases.

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Information about the MCQ is readily available on the internet. If you have the means to access this information, you should. Let’s all do our part in cooperating with the government to lessen the threat of the pandemic in our country.

This article contains the differences between ECQ and MCQ.

ECQ vs MCQ: On Movement

During the ECQ, movement was not permitted for everyone of any age or any gender. The only ones exempted from this rule were medical frontliners and essential workers (food and water industry). For the normal Filipino, leaving the house was not permitted unless a baranggay community quarantine pass was obtained. The quarantine pass was only used by family members who had to leave the house to buy food and essential supplies.

During the MCQ, movement is limited within the area, both for obtaining food and essential supplies, as well as for those going to work. Some industries are allowed to operate at certain levels during the MCQ. Therefore, workers for these industries are allowed to travel.

nationwide enhanced community quarantine
nationwide enhanced community quarantine

ECQ vs MCQ: On Industries

Whereas, during the ECQ, all work was shut down. Only industries that provided essential services were permitted to continue operation, as well as some media establishments.

For the MCQ, certain industries are given permission to be 100% operational. These industries included the media, production of cement and steel, BPOs, mining and quarrying, e-commerce, delivery services, vehicle, and real estate rentals, housing services, and equipment repair.

Other industries are given permission to be half-operational. The IATF guidelines encourage flexible work schedules as well as different work arrangements. Some of these industries are legal and accounting services, malls, manufacturing of beverages, book stores, photocopying establishments, etc. For the full list, you may check from the IATF guidelines here.

The opening of these industries come with the DTI-issued guidelines. These guidelines make the usage of masks at workplaces mandatory, as well as the availability of hand sanitizers and alcohols.

ECQ vs MCQ: On Mall Openings

Malls and any establishment that offered leisure activities were not permitted to operate during the ECQ.

With the MCQ, malls are now allowed to open, provided that only their essential departments are operational. These departments include the grocery section and food and water departments. Restaurants within malls, like the one outside of malls, only operate for delivery and take-out, not dine-in accommodations. Malls also require face masks and travel pass in order to allow entrance.

Any establishment for leisure or recreational activities are not allowed to operate under the MCQ.

ECQ vs MCQ: On Physical Classes

ECQ suspended all physical classes. During the MCQ, physical classes are still suspended.

ECQ vs MCQ: On Physical Classes
ECQ vs MCQ: On Physical Classes

ECQ vs MCQ: On Public Transportation

Public transportation in all forms (tricycles, buses, jeepneys, etc.) were suspended during the ECQ.

This suspension is still not lifted for the MCQ. Only transportation for employees of certain permitted establishments/companies are allowed, as well as point to point shuttle services that are provided by the government for general public use.

These are the main differences when it comes to ECQ and the new MCQ. For a full understanding of MCQ rules and guidelines, it is advisable to read on the guidelines released by the IATF.

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