General community quarantine (GCQ) restrictions have been extended over Metro Manila and the adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal. Collectively known as the NCR Plus bubble, these areas will still have GCQ in effect until June 15, 2021, as announced by Malacañang on Monday.
Restrictions are still in place for certain industries under the extended GCQ
The extension stems from the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) which was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte. NCR Plus had previously been placed under GCQ until May 31, following a month-long imposition of the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from April 12 until May 14 to prevent a surge of COVID-19 cases.
A statement from Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that restrictions under GCQ protocols remain in place for NCR Plus, limiting the capacities of certain industries.
Expect a surge in vehicles as leisure travel is now permitted across all ages
Despite this, leisure travel from NCR Plus to areas under MGCQ will now be allowed for all members of the population regardless of age group, according to Resolution 118-A of the IATF-EID. The relaxed travel restrictions are valid until June 15.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat welcomed this development, hoping that it will pave the way for the recovery of the local tourism industry. “We are looking forward to once again see our tourism destinations welcome tourists from the NCR Plus area. Of course, this has to be done with utmost precaution,” she said.
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Children below 18 years old and adults above 65 years old must have a negative swab test prior to traveling
Under the relaxed travel rules, people of all ages will be permitted to travel to MGCQ destinations, provided that those aged below 18 and above 65 possess a negative swab test beforehand. Travels should also be on a point-to-point basis, with stopovers reserved only for food and personal necessities, and no side trips or unscheduled itineraries. Other interzonal travel regulations set by individual local government units (LGU) will still apply.
The IATF-EID’s resolution lists the following areas as being under MGCQ until June 30, 2021. Areas marked with asterisk (*) require special attention by their LGUs and regional task force:
- Region I – Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union*, Pangasinan, Dagupan City
- Region II – Batanes
- Region III – Aurora, Bataan*, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga*, Tarlac, Zambales, Angeles City, Olongapo City
- Region IV-A - Lucena City*
- Region IV-B – Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro*, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Palawan*
- Region V – Albay*, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur*, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon, Naga City*
- Region VI – Aklan, Antique, Capiz*, Guimaras*, Negros Occidental, Iloilo*, Bacolod City*
- Region VII – Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental*, Siquijor, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City
- Region VIII – Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Western Samar*, Ormoc City*
- Region X – Bukidnon*, Camiguin*, Lanao del Norte*, Misamis Occidental*, Misamis Oriental*
- Region XI –Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental*, Davao Oriental*
- Region XII – North Cotabato, South Cotabato*, Sarangani*, Sultan Kudarat*, General Santos City*
- Region XIII (Caraga) – Agusan del Norte, Dinagat Islands*, Surigao del Norte*, Surigao del Sur*
- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) – Basilan, Maguindanao*, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo