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'Strict' GCQ Starts Aug. 19, Police to Help Enforce Virus Protocols

What to expect when the virus quarantine eases.
by Joel Guinto
Aug 18, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

Expect police patrols and checkpoints to stay when Metro Manila and surrounding provinces shift to the second lowest quarantine or GCQ on Wednesday, a top security official said. This will ensure the strict enforcement of COVID-19 containment protocols.

Troops will make sure that those outside their homes will follow local ordinances on the wearing of face shields and face masks among others, said Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, head of Joint Task Force COVID Shield. The public has been reminded constantly and given leeway in the past, the general said, adding, "Dapat sumunod na sila (They should follow)."

Referring to local chief executives, Eleazar said: "Ang gusto nila, strict enforcement ng protocols na ito. Yun ang gagawin ng kapulisan (They want strict enforcement of these protocols and that's what the police will do)."

The GCQ is effective until Aug. 31, alongside quarantine classifications for the entire country. All areas are currently under the two lowest tiers in a four-step system: GCQ and MGCQ. Strict lockdowns will be implemented in barangays and streets instead of entire cities and regions.

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The GCQ will allow the resumption of public transport and pave the way for more businesses to operate. Restaurants can accept dine-in customers.

From the start of quarantines in March, police tallied some 300,000 violators of ordinances on face masks, quarantine passes and stay at home orders. The total number of violators is "higher than expected, but the trend is falling," Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, national police spokesman, earlier told reportr.

Violators are either fined P1,000 to P5,000 depending on the offense or given a lecture on COVID-19 safety at a barangay center, Banac said.

Here is a list of businesses allowed under the four quarantine classifications:

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