Metro Manila and four nearby provinces—Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal—have been placed under a general community quarantine bubble, termed as “NCR Plus.”
These areas have been given uniform quarantine restrictions under the GCQ bubble in a bid to curb the harrowing increase in Covid19 cases. The bubble took effect earlier on Monday this week (Mar. 22) and will last up until Easter Sunday (Apr. 4).
The bubble is defined as a non-conventional arrangement that limits movement of people in a particular area or areas.
Authorities clarified that this was not the same as a lockdown as businesses remained operational and only movement of people was restricted. The private sector is also limited to a 30 to 50% workforce capacity.
Those with essential business outside their areas are required to adhere to protocols set by the local government unit concerned.
People allowed outside of their residences include: essential workers, healthcare personnel, government officials and frontline personnel, authorized humanitarian assistance actors, persons with medical or humanitarian business, persons headed for the airport for international travel, persons crossing zones for work or business or heading home, returning overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers
Mass gatherings are banned under the bubble, with weddings, christenings and burials limited to having 10 guests.
Dining in at establishments is not allowed; only al fresco or outdoor dining is permitted, limited to 50% seating capacity.
A curfew of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. is still in place while individuals under 18 years of age must stay home. Pregnant women, persons with immunodeficiencies and co-morbidities must also remain home.
Meanwhile, those over 65 years old and persons with disabilities are allowed to engage in non-contact sports.
The National Capital Region has seen a sharp spike in new daily cases, reaching as high as 8,000 this week, the highest ever since the beginning of the pandemic.
At present, the Philippines has logged over 679,000 cases, more than 578,000 recoveries and over 13,000 deaths.