Metro Manila will under "heightened" MECQ from Aug. 21 to 31. Technically, MECQ is still the second strictest form of lockdown, however this incarnation has additional restrictions to thwart the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, authorities said.
For one, there will be no ayuda or cash aid during the heightened MECQ, said Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, who heads the Metro Manila Council. Each qualified household got up to P4,000 during the ECQ.
Olivarez told Teleradyo that it was hard to look for funding for ayuda during the heightened MECQ. "Yun pong MECQ, hindi po talaga magkakaroon kasi hirap na po ang gobyerno talaga. 'Yun pong pagkuha ng budget na binigay ng national government, kumuha na po 'yan sa savings natin."
Here are more guidelines during the shift to heightened MECQ from ECQ in the last 10 days of August:
- The curfew stays at 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
- Al-fresco and indoor dining is banned, unlike in the regular MECQ, where it is allowed at limited capacity. Only take-out and deliveries are allowed.
- Personal services like spas and salons are banned.
- In-person religious gatherings are banned.
- Liquor bans will be the prerogative of the mayors
During the 15-day ECQ in Metro Manila, vaccinations have reached 70% of the target population for the first dose and 50% for the second dose, Olivarez said.
Local governments also distributed 60 to 70% of their ayuda, he said. They need an additional one week to complete the payout.
While there's still a surge in infections possibly due to Delta, Olivarez said healthcare utilization remains manageable at 70%.