Millions in Metro Manila hunker down for at least two weeks of lockdown starting Friday, Aug. 6 as the government tries to control the spread of the hyper-contagious Delta variant of coronavirus.
Authorities set up border checkpoints and issued guidelines ahead of the enhanced community quarantine or ECQ, the strictest form of quarantine.
Here's your comprehensive guide for the August 2021 season of the ECQ in Metro Manila:
How long is the ECQ and will it be extended?
The ECQ in Metro Manila is scheduled from Aug. 6 to 20. As to whether the lockdown will be extended, Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles said the government would review first the COVID-19 situation after the two-week lockdown before making a decision.
Who can go out?
Only authorized persons outside of their residences or APORs are allowed to go out of their homes during the ECQ period. These include medical frontliners, law enforcers, people accessing basic goods, and individuals who are scheduled to get their COVID-19 vaccines.
For the full list of APORs, click here.
Is there a curfew?
Curfew in the whole of Metro Manila is set at 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. according to the MMDA.
Do we need a quarantine pass?
Yes, quarantine passes are needed during the ECQ period according to MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos.
However, local government units have the discretion on whether they would issue new quarantine passes or honor the ones used during the previous ECQ.
View the official announcements of some Metro Manila LGUs regarding quarantine passes here.
Can I cross cities and go out of Metro Manila?
Border crossing is generally prohibited except for APORs who need to travel due to work or any other official business.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar had also said that accessing basic goods would be limited to one's locality. This means that residents of Pasig City, for example, cannot go to Mandaluyong City to do their groceries during the lockdown.
How can I get my COVID-19 vaccine during the ECQ?
COVID-19 vaccinations will continue even during the ECQ period.
According to the DILG, individuals who are scheduled to get their vaccine shot during the ECQ just need to present proof -- either a text message confirmation, QR code, or any other document -- showing that they are set to get inoculated.
Will there be ayuda?
President Rodrigo Duterte approved a P1,000 aid for those in need in ECQ areas for August, according to his spokesman Harry Roque.
A limit of P4,000 per family will be implemented as part of the cash aid program, Roque said. The funds will come from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Will public transportation continue?
Yes, public transportation will continue to operate during the ECQ. The MMDA also suspended the truck ban and number coding to ensure the unhampered delivery of goods.
Here are the allowed modes of public transportation for the ECQ:
Is there dine-in?
Dine-in services, as well as al fresco dining, are prohibited during the ECQ. Only food deliveries and take-outs are allowed.
Staycations and leisure trips are also prohibited. The general policy during ECQ is to stay at home.
Are gatherings allowed?
Mass gatherings are still prohibited.
Only virtual religious gatherings shall be allowed. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, funerals, and inurnment for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed but limited to immediate family members only.