Metro Manila placed under GCQ until end of September

BACK IN THE GYM. A fitness coach teaches a client on basic workout, warm-up, and stretching at a gym in Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City on Tuesday, September 1. Gyms and fitness centers are among non-essential establishments that have been allowed to operate subject to health and safety protocols starting Tuesday. | Photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler

METRO Manila will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) for the entire month of September, President Rodrigo Duterte announced Monday, August 31.

The provinces of Bulacan and Batangas, as well as the cities of Tacloban and Bacolod, will also be under GCQ until Sept. 30.

Iligan City will be under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) after seeing an increase in its coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country will be under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), gyms, internet cafés, personal care centers, as well as review and tutorial centers, will be allowed to operate in GCQ areas.

“As agreed with Metro Manila mayors, for gyms, fitness centers and sports facilities, the specific guidelines, including operating capacity and more specific health protocol requirements shall be issued by each LGU (local government unit),” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

“The other newly opened sectors can reopen up to 30 percent operating capacity,” he added.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that plans to shift Metro Manila to the most lenient MGCQ are being discussed.

“These are being discussed, we are looking at the critical care capacity, we are looking at the case doubling rate, we will know later on, the president will conduct an inspection,” he said.

Roque also noted that shorter curfew hours are being proposed by mayors in Metro Manila, going from the current 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew hours to 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

“It won’t be immediate because they (local governments) still have to amend their ordinances. Other local governments have given the mayor the authority to change the curfew hours through executive order,” he said.

As of this press time, there are 224,264 COVID-19 cases in the country, with 3,597 fatalities and 158,012 recoveries.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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