by Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter
The National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces will be placed under a less stringent quarantine status starting Saturday, according to the presidential palace.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved the recommendation of an inter-agency task force to place NCR and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under a general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from May 15 to 31, presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said in a statement on Thursday night.
Mr. Roque said Baguio City and the provinces of Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region will also be placed under a general lockdown.
The provinces of Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya in Cagayan Valley will also be under GCQ.
Restrictions in Batangas and Quezon in Southern Tagalog and Puerto Princesa in Region 4-B will be eased.
Several areas in Southern Philippines such as Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao Del Sur will revert to GCQ.
“All other areas shall be placed under Modified General Community Quarantine until month’s end,” Mr. Roque said.
Meanwhile, the Palace official said only essential travel into and out of the NCR Plus shall be allowed.
Public transportation shall remain operational “at such capacities and protocols” to be set by the Transportation department.
Mr. Roque said indoor dine-in services in the greater Metro Manila area shall be allowed at 20% seating capacity, while outdoor dining shall be at 50% venue capacity.
Outdoor tourist attractions in the area may be opened at 30% “with strict adherence to minimum public health standards,” he said.
He added that specialized markets of the Tourism department will be allowed to operate “following the minimum public health standards and implementation of protocols and restrictions.”
Religious gatherings will be allowed up to 10% of a venue’s capacity.
Non-contact sports, games, scrimmages and personal care services such as salons, parlors, beauty clinics, among others, shall be allowed at 30% capacity, Mr. Roque said.
He said unauthorized interzonal travel from the greater Manila area shall remain prohibited.
Mr. Roque said persons aged 18 to 65 will be allowed outdoors.