President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday apologized to the public for the strict implementation of quarantines during this Christmas to avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases.
For Christmas 2020, gatherings will be capped at 10 people, reunions will be limited to immediate family and people heading out will be required to wear face masks and face shields and observe social distancing, officials said.
"We are saying sorry that there will be a curtailment of so many things you have been used to during Christmas time," he said.
Authorities will carry yantok or rattan sticks to enforce social distancing.
"This is one Christmas, the only Christmas maybe that government will intervene in your private affairs," he said.
Metro Manila mayors bucked a proposal to allow children in shopping malls. In areas under GCQ, those aged 18 to 65 can leave their houses, the minimum age is lower at 15 in MGCQ areas, said Interior Sec. Eduardo Ano.
KEEP SAFE FROM COVID DURING THE HOLIDAYS:
"Focused po ang LGUs sa strict implementation ng minimum health standards and quarantine protocols," Ano said. "Nag-eexpect po tayo na baka magkaroon ng surge pagkatapos ng holidays."
The Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government and Metro Manila mayors earlier Monday to prepare for a possible surge, he said.