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Cinemas, Museums in GCQ Areas Told to Close Until April 4

Due to a suge in COVID-19 cases.
by Arianne Merez
Just now
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The Philippines' COVID-19 pandemic response task force has ordered several non-essential industries in areas under general community quarantine or GCQ to suspend operations until April 4 to curb a surge in virus infections.

In a March 18 resolution, the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 response ordered the following establishments in GCQ areas to shut for two weeks starting Friday, March 19:

  • Driving schools
  • Traditional cinemas
  • Game arcades
  • Libraries
  • Archives
  • Museums
  • Cultural centers
  • Limited social events at accredited establishments of the Department of Tourism
  • Limited tourist attractions except open-air tourist attractions

Metro Manila, where the surge in COVID-19 infections is centered, is under GCQ for the rest of March.

The IATF also capped meetings and conferences in GCQ areas to 30% of the venue capacity as well as religious gatherings provided that there is no objection from the local government unit where the religious gathering may take place.

Local governments are given the authority to increase the capacity for religious gatherings to up to 50%, the IATF said.

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The operating capacity of dine-in restaurants, cafes, and personal care services has also been reduced to 50%.

Cockfighting and cockpit operations were suspended even in areas under the less strict modified general community quarantine.

The stricter COVID-19 protocols come as the country battles a renewed wave of infections and new virus variants. 

New COVID-19 cases in the past few days have been tallying at around 4,000 to 5,000 daily, mirroring numbers in August 2020 when the government rolled back easing of restrictions to the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ.


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