According to the Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Eduardo Año, mass gatherings—which include family reunions—are prohibited during the holidays.
Año said that reunions are considered mass gatherings, which is not allowed under quarantine.
“Family reunions are mass gatherings of different families within a clan,” he explained in a text message.
The secretary instead encouraged only immediate families to celebrate Christmas together and to observe minimum health standards.
The health department is in agreement with this, warning the public against holding large parties, as the virus may be transmitted during such events.
“It would be wiser at this time of pandemic, to simply stay at home during this Yuletide season and limit the celebration to household members only,” said health secretary Francisco Duque III. He further encouraged the use of social media platforms and video apps to connect with relatives living apart from them.
He added: “Covid19 cases in some parts of the country may now be lower compared to previous months but this should not be a reason for complacency,” he added. “We need to maintain our caution especially for the upcoming holidays.”
As of writing, the country has logged over 447,000 total cases, with nearly 8,700 deaths.