Need a haircut, dine-in service, or a movie? Wait for MGCQ!

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A haircut, dine-in service, and a film are just some of the activities people living in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) can look forward to under the latest government guidelines.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has allowed such activities under its revised Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, in its Resolution 38, Series of 2020.

Among the issuance ‘s highlights is that it allows the resumption of mass gatherings such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other MGCQ entertainment activities.

Only 50 per cent of such events’ venue or seating capacity will be allowed.

Religious gatherings will also be permitted in MGCQ areas, depending on the relevant IATF guidelines.

Barber shops, salons and other personal care and dine-in services are also set to make a comeback in MGCQ areas provided that such establishments comply with the seating capacity rule of 50 percent.

The activities belong to the IATF’s so-called Category 4 sectors, which are prohibited from operating in areas under enhanced Community quarantine (ECQ), modified ECQ (MECQ) and  general community quarantine (GCQ).

Other sectors included in the Category 4 industry are gyms and sports facilities; children’s entertainment; libraries, archives, museums and cultural centres; and tourist agencies and destinations.

“Other Category 4 and all other establishments not permitted to operate under previous sections of these guidelines, at a maximum of 50 percent operational capacity,” the IATF said in its Resolution 38.

There are currently no areas within the country under MGCQ. This may, however, change after May 31, 2020, after the IATF reclassifies an area’s community quarantine depending on its number of new cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and medical service capacity.

MGCQs are areas with the most relaxed public movement and activity restrictions among the four community quarantine classifications.

Areas most likely to be placed under the MGCQ are those already under the GCQ.

These include the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), provinces of Tarlac and Aurora, as well as Regions 1, 2, 4-A (except Laguna), 4-B, 5, 6, 7 (except the cities of Cebu and Mandaue), 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The new resolution was approved by the IATF members last Friday after a video conference was held.

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