The Department of Interior and Local Government clarified on Thursday that quarantine passes will no longer be required when going outside to buy essential goods and services once the government shifts to general community quarantine (GCQ) on June 1.
“Sinasabi natin ‘di na kailangan ng quarantine pass. Hindi na siya absolute. (What we are saying is that quarantine pass is not needed. It isn’t absolute.)” Año, vice-chairman of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said over CNN Philippines as he discussed the IATF’s recommendation to put Metro Manila under GCQ after May 31.
Under GCQ, rules will be relaxed but there are still guidelines to follow when availing of essential goods and services and reports for work.
Those shopping for food and other essentials are discouraged from traveling to other towns to purchase what they need.
“If you are going to buy goods and services, basically you still have to buy them in your area, within your localities. You cannot cross to faraway places…Someone from Caloocan shouldn’t go to Makati. That is not allowed,” he said.
Also, the government and all industries are allowed to operate up to 75 percent in GCQ areas.
But even if quarantine protocols are relaxed, LGUs may still impose localized lockdowns within their jurisdiction.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had said that villages may be placed under strict lockdowns if these are found to be at “high-risk” of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Under the GCQ, “high-risk” barangays that will log more than 2 new cases of COVID-19 within a 7-day monitoring will be deemed “critical zones”.
The DILG, however, clarified that crossing borders would still require a travel pass from the Philippine National Police.
Checkpoints have been set up in different areas to ensure that quarantine guidelines are being followed.
“Moving from one province to another, and one region to another, kailangan pa din ng travel authority from PNP,” Malaya said.
“Magiging mahigpit pa rin tayo sa mga provincial border… Travel pass na lang po para sa pagdaan niya from one province to another o kaya ay from one region to another ay makikita po natin na may kabuluhan talaga ang nagbibiyahe at hindi siya nagbibiyahe lang para sa leisure,” he added.
Filipinos aged 21 to 59 years old are allowed to leave their homes during the GCQ, including those working in industries such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food manufacturing, telecommunications, and media.
Those 20 years old and below, and those 60 years old and above should stay home due to their vulnerability to COVID-19 even as quarantine protocols are eased.
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