Follow us for updates
© 2020
Read the Story →

It Turns Out That Not All Mass Gatherings Will Be Banned Under ECQ

The IATF has two exceptions to the rule.
by The reportr team
May 24, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

In areas under quarantine, all mass gatherings are currently prohibited.

But two “essential” exceptions have just been announced by the government: gatherings that provide government services, and gatherings for authorized humanitarian activities.

In the omnibus guidelines for community quarantine published in the Official Gazette on May 15, the section on mass gatherings originally read: “Mass gatherings such as but not limited to, movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities, community assemblies, religious gatherings, and non-essential work gatherings shall be prohibited.”

However, in a revised version published yesterday in the Official Gazette (but ratified by the Inter-Agency Task Force via video conference last May 22), the IATF added this new sentence: “However, gatherings that are essential for the provision of government services or authorized humanitarian activities shall be allowed.”

The IATF also added a similar clause to the the relevant sections in the modified enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine guidelines.

Continue reading below ↓

Other key revisions include a fleshing out of the allowed industries that are allowed to operate under enhanced community quarantine. While the May 15 document only allowed  a skeleton workforce for select industries, the guidelines uploaded yesterday fleshed out which business are allowed to operate with a full, half, or skeleton workforce. 

In addition, the May 22 version of the omnibus guidelines clears up the authorized IDs that law enforcement can check for people traveling outside their homes, adds some further rules for hotels under general community quarantine, and streamlines the guidelines for travel between the zones. 

The new version of the guidelines also calls on the LGUs to do contact tracing and contact monitoring within their communities, using IATF-endorsed apps like and TanodCOVID, when available.