Religious gatherings will be permitted in areas covered by the GCQ Bubble from April 1 to 4, Malacañang said Friday as Filipino Catholics prepared for the Holy Week.
Churches and other venues of worship in the GCQ Bubble can only host worshippers up to 10% of their capacity, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. Areas covered by the new policy are Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
"Hinihikayat din na ang pagpasok ng simbahan or venues ay sa pamamagitan po ng reservation para matiyak na masusunod ang 10% capacity," Roque said in a virtual press briefing.
Religious activities outside the church or the venue will be prohibited, and to ensure adherence to the restrictions, Roque said the use of audio-video systems outside the venue would not be allowed during the worship or service.
Initially, the government's inter-agency task force on COVID-19 response prohibited all forms of mass gatherings, including religious ones in areas covered by the GCQ Bubble until April 4.
But earlier this week, the Archdiocese of Manila instructed churches under its care to resume religious services at 10% capacity starting Wednesday, March 24.
Despite the easing of restrictions, Roque still encouraged the public to join religious activities using online platforms to help curb the surge in COVID-19 cases.
"Hinihikayat na ang pag-attend sa mga religious activities sa pamamagitan ng iba’t-ibang online platforms," he said.
MORE ON GCQ BUBBLE: