MECQ Guidelines for 2021
Manila, Philippines – OutofTownBlog.com – The number of infected with Covid-19 has increased in the National Capital Region (NCR) and on its nearby provinces Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal, prompting the national government to impose the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) on the said places and called them the NCR Plus. The implementation of ECQ was to control the surge of Covid-19 cases on the NCR Plus.
On April 12, 2021, the NCR Plus and other provinces, later on, switched to Modified Enhance Community Quarantine (MECQ) which is a less strict quarantine. Since the state and handling of Covid-19 cases differs a year ago it has happened, the National Government has layout revised guidelines for areas placed under MECQ.
Here are the new guidelines being imposed on areas placed under MECQ.
APOR (Authorize Person Outside of Residence)
To limit people’s movement and physical contact, the IATF has listed revised guidelines for authorized persons who are permitted to go out of their homes. According to the IATF, the following are the APOR:
- Frontline workers under health and emergency services
- Government frontline workers
- Government officers
- Authorized humanitarian assistance
- Individuals who are traveling due to medical and humanitarian purposes
- Individuals traveling to the airport for overseas travel
- Individuals traveling for work and permitted businesses
- Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Filipinos Overseas who are traveling back to their residence
- Individuals transported by the means of the national government
- Individuals with IDs issued by IATF who are authorized to regulate permitted individuals and establishment
- Lawyers with ID from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines who will conduct legal representation for individuals whose rights need to be protected
Although MECQ is more relax, curfew hours are still being implemented. The Metro Manila has implemented a unified curfew hour from 8 pm to 5 am until April 30, 2021, and only the APOR is exempted from the implemented curfew.
Meanwhile, Cavite has implemented different curfew hours starting from 10 pm to 4:30 pm. The curfew hours vary on each place which depends on the Local Government Unit (LGU)
Travel and Movement Protocols
- Home quarantine is strictly being implemented. Leaving the residence is limited to acquiring essential goods or services with exemption to APOR.
- Ages below 18 years old, above 65 years old, individuals with comorbidities, other health risks, and pregnant women should stay at home. An exception is granted for work-related activities and acquiring essential services. The LGUs are authorized to lower the age to 15 years old, depending on the Covid-19 status in their areas.
- Mass gathering outside of the residence is prohibited. Religious gatherings are allowed in compliance with the 10% capacity of the area. LGUs are authorized to increase the capacity up to 30%.
- Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of other diseases are allowed but exclusive for the family members only. For confirmed deaths or probable Covid-19 deaths, a funeral gathering is only limited to the adult family members.
- Outdoor exercises are allowed within the barangay or subdivision for individualized exercises while wearing face masks.
Operation of Businesses
Establishments and services permitted to operate at 50% capacity:
- Media Enterprises
- Medical clinics such as dental, rehabilitation, and other clinics providing a remedy for an illness
- Veterinary Clinics
- Money transfer services, Banks, Pawnshops
- Capital Markets
- Sanitary Services, Water Supplier
- Energy division
- Telecommunication industry
- Airline and Aircraft service maintenance
- Aviation schools
- Shipyard force
Establishments that are permitted to operate at 50% capacity during ECQ can now fully operate.
However, some industries are still prohibited from operating, such as entertainment venues, recreational activities, amusement parks, indoor and outdoor courts, gyms, spas, swimming pools, outdoor and indoor tourist spots.
- (2021), MECQ guidelines: What we know so far, CNN Philippines
- (2021), MECQ and ECQ: What’s The Difference And Guidelines For 12 to 30 April, Tatler
- (2021), Business Operations Allowed Under ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ, Platon Martinez
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