While there's no lockdown, new measures introduced
Government says no to lockdown; will introduce new measures
MANILA – The Duterte Administration has seriously considered the latest figures in new COVID-19 cases over the past three days. From 7,103 last Friday, March 19, to 7,999 yesterday and 7,757 today, the government opted to restrict cross-border travel, mass gatherings and dining within the National Capital Region and Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under the current general community quarantine.
The guidelines approved by President Rodrigo Duterte will take effect tomorrow, Monday, March 22,2021 and end on Easter Sunday, April 4,2021.
These guidelines may be terminated or extended by the chief executive.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there will be lockdown as earlier feared. He said the recommendations came from the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infections Diseases (AITF).
Contained in the Resolution No. 104 which President Duterte approved and released to the media today, Secretary Roque said it includes measures to strengthen government response to the increase in COVID-19 cases. The GCQ is the second lowest quarantine classification enforced by the government.
Earlier, a number of Catholic church officials expressed concern that with the closure of churches until April 4, Catholic leaders may not be able to open the jubilee door marking the beginning of the 500th Anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. However, government officials said while Catholic churches implement social distancing and other health protocols inside the structure, but people still crowd outside the church patio.
The Roman Catholic dioceses under the Archdiocese of Manila, namely Novaliches, Cubao and Pasig have temporarily stopped regular Masses until April 4 this year.
Secretary Roque said restaurants and dining areas will be limited to take-out and dining al fresco. (Melo M. Acuña)
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque. (Screen grab from Secretary Roque's press briefing.