Will GCQ, MGCQ Be Extended Until December?

The President is expected to decide on Nov. 30.
People wearing face masks watch a light show at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila in this photo taken on Nov. 28, 2020.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

Existing quarantine classifications are expiring at the end of the day Monday and President Rodrigo Duterte is due to decide whether to extend or modify them for December, a decision that will set the tone for how millions will celebrate Christmas during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Metro Manila, Davao City, Batangas, Iloilo, Tacloban, Bacolod, Iligan and Lanao Del Sur are under GCQ, the second to the lowest classification while the rest of the country is under MGCQ, one notch lower.

Mayors in the capital region have requested a GCQ extension until the end of the year to prevent a spike in infections during the Christmas holidays, a dilemma shared by world leaders who seek to balance health protocols with year-end celebrations.

As new cases appear to be contained, the GCQ in November saw the loosening of restrictions that allow more people in commercial establishments and public transport.

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Efforts to secure a vaccine gained traction last Friday, when the country's biggest businessmen pitched in for an advance order of 2.6 million doses from Britain's Astra Zeneca.

Authorities have constantly reminded shoppers to observe physical distancing and wear face masks and face shields if they must head out to do their holiday shopping.

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