Quezon City will shorten curfew hours from 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. starting Dec. 16 to accommodate Simbang Gabi attendees during long-running quarantine, its mayor said on Saturday.
"Bahagi na ng pagdiriwang ng kapaskuhan at ng ating kultura ang Simbang Gabi kaya kahit may pandemya, nais nating panatihiling buhay ang diwa nito," Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
(The Simbang Gabi is part of our culture's Christmas traditions which is why even though there is a pandemic, we wish to keep its spirit alive.)
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Mass venues can only operate on 30% capacity, with attendees required to follow health protocols such as wearing of face masks and shields and observing proper social distance, Belmonte said.
"Hindi natin dapat kalimutan na mayroon pa ring pandemya at kailangan tayong mag-ingat upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng virus," she stressed.
(We shouldn’t forget that there is still a pandemic and we need to be careful to avoid spreading the virus.)
Last week, the MMDA barred minors from physically attending Simbang Gabi in churches in Metro Manila. Livestreaming of the holiday mass is encouraged.