Restrictions over business operations and mobility in Metro Manila will be heightened starting tomorrow until August 6, when an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will again take effect until August 20.
In a televised address, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Malacanang has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to place the National Capital Region on “general community quarantine subject to heightened and additional restrictions.” Then on August 6 until August 20, ECQ will take effect.
Under the general community quarantine with "heightened and additional restrictions" that starts tomorrow in Metro Manila until August 6, restaurants will only be allowed to operate on a take-out and delivery basis, with indoor and al fresco dining being prohibited again. Personal care services such as beauty salons and barbershops as well as outdoor tourist attractions may only operate up to 30% of capacity. Indoors sports venues are also prohibited to operate.
Travel is also again limited as only authorized persons outside of residences may be allowed to travel in and out of NCR.
Religious gatherings will only be allowed on a virtual basis.
Roque said the decision to heighten quarantine restrictions is meant to stem the feared spread of the more transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant.
“Hindi po naging madali ang desisyon na ito ah. Maraming oras ang ginugol para pagdebatihan ito dahil binabalanse nga po natin yung pagpapabagal ng pagkalat ng COVID-19 dahil sa Delta variant at ang karapatan natin na mabuhay at mabawasan ang hanay ng mga nagugutom,” said Roque.
“Pero matapos po ang matinding debate kinakailangan magkaroon ng desisyon. Masakit na desisyon po ito dahil alam naman nating mahirap ang ECQ pero kinakailangang gawin po ito para maiwasan ang kakulangan sa ICU beds at iba pang hospital requirements kung lolobo po talaga ang kaso dahil nga po sa Delta variant,” added Roque.
In the latest update by the Department of Health, the number of detected COVID-19 Delta cases in the Philippines have now gone up to 216 following 97 new cases.
Roque said that for now, the situation remains “low risk” as hospitals still have rooms and equipment to deal with the infections.
(Banner and thumbnail photo: Manila residents waiting in line for their 2nd dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila on Thursday morning, July 29. The Philippine STAR/ Miguel de Guzman)