(Editor's note: This story is updated to include a late announcement from authorities that gyms, while allowed under pandemic guidelines, cannot reopen under this GCQ from Aug. 18 to 31.)
(UPDATE) Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal will on Wednesday revert to GCQ, the second lowest quarantine, allowing more shops to reopen after 15 days of tight restrictions.
One of the biggest changes when shifting to GCQ from MECQ is the resumption of public transport. Trains, buses, taxis, jeeps and ride-share vehicles will be allowed, but with a new requirement this time: face shields on top of face masks. Face shields are also now required in the workplace.
For businesses, the restrictions are specific to sector, and the capacity at which that can operate varies under the four quarantines: ECQ, MECQ, GCQ and MGCQ. The Department of Trade and Industry has this easy-to-read guide. However, remember to always check with local authorities if there are area-specific restrictions.
Among the most pronounced changes, barbershops and salons can open at half capacity, while gyms, internet cafes, drive-in cinemas and pet grooming can restart at 30% capacity, according to the DTI directive. However, gyms cannot reopen yet.
The capital region in its suburbs must work to be donwgraded to the lowest quarantine, MGCQ, to go the following: tattoo and body piercing shops, live events, entertainment industries, libraries, archives, museums and cultural centers, tourist destinations, and schools for language, driving, dance, acting and voice.
Varying quarantines have taken a toll on the economy, which sank into a recession in the second quarter. Joblessness is at a record high and Filipinos feel they are worse off in the last 12 months, according to the SWS.