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Yes, You Can Attend Sunday Mass, But Only Ten People at a Time

Sorry, no full choir.
by The reportr team
May 16, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

Yes, you can go to Mass, but don't expect a full congregation, much less, a choir. 

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases released its latest omnibus for community quarantine guidelines in the Philippines on Saturday, May 16.

Several jurisdictions across the country are scheduled to shift to a less-stringent general community quarantine (GCQ) on said date—and it looks like this means they can also begin to hold religious gatherings, provided that there is a maximum of 10 people at any given time. 

"While adhering to the prescribed minimum health standards, religious gatherings are not encouraged but in any case should be not more than ten (10) persons," reads the official IATF guidelines. Earlier on April 30, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque had announced that religious gatherings will be allowed under a GCQ—without a limit as to how many people can be present.

He later revised his statement to ban religious gatherings once again after local government units protested. "Nagkaroon po ng malawakang protesta ang lokal na pamahalaan. Ang sabi po nila, hindi mapapatupad yan dahil hindi naman mapapasok ang mga simbahan," Roque told CNN Philippines.

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The latest IATF guidelines however, once again allow religious gatherings as long as there are no more than 10 people present. Other types of mass gatherings—those that are "unauthorized, non-work essential, or are entertainment-related"—are still prohibited under GCQ. Individual exercise outdoors such as jogging or biking will be allowed, subject to safety protocols such as physical distancing and wearing of masks.

These guidelines can now be implemented where a shift to GCQ has begun across the nation. Cebu City and Mandaue City in Central Visayas will remain under a strict enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) while several Luzon areas, including the National Capital Region, Laguna, and six other "transitioning high-risk" places, will take a half-step down to a modified ECQ.

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