After two weeks of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that began on March 29, Palm Sunday, the government has downgraded Metro Manila’s quarantine status to modified ECQ (MECQ) up to April 30. Included under this classification are the metro’s four adjacent provinces, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna.
These areas are collectively known as NCR Plus (NCR+).
This, after hospitals would increase the number of beds intended for Covid19 patients, particularly those in the intensive care unit.
Under the current status, the trade department issued a list of industries that can operate at 100% capacity on site: Public and private hospitals; Health, emergency and frontline services; Medicine manufacturers; Agriculture; Logistics services; Essential and priority construction; Manufacturing of food and essential goods; Manufacturing; Construction equipment distribution; Essential retail trade and services; Food establishments for takeout and delivery; Public and private financial service providers; Business process outsourcing; Public transport providers and operators.
Media are allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
Those that may operate with a skeletal workforce are as follows: Dental; Rehabilitation; Optometry and other medical clinics; Veterinary clinics; Banks; Money transfer services, as well as pawnshops; Capital markets; Water supply, janitorial or sanitation; Energy sector, third party contractors and service providers; Telecom companies; Internet service providers; Cable television providers; Airline and aircraft maintenance, pilots and crew; Funeral and embalming services.
Those that may not operate, meanwhile, are the following: Entertainment establishments (karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, cinemas); Recreation establishments (internet cafes, billiards halls, amusement arcades or parks); Indoor and outdoor sports courts and swimming pools; Gyms and spas; Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting, lottery and betting shops except for Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office draws; Tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, cultural shows and exhibits; Outdoor tourist attractions, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition venues (MICE); Personal care services (salons, beauty parlors, medical aesthetics clinics, cosmetic or dermatological clinics, nail spas); Indoor dine-in services.
Only outdoor or al fresco dining would be allowed at 50% seating capacity and with acrylic dividers or diagonal seating.
It is hoped that some 500,000 workers who lost employment during the two week ECQ could return to work under these restrictions.
The Cordillera Administrative Region, Batangas province, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, Lanao del Sur province and Quezon province are now under general community quarantine (GCQ), while the rest of the country is currently under modified GCQ, the loosest quarantine classification.