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Confused? Here's What Changed in MECQ 2021

Here's what you need to know.
by Arianne Merez
Apr 12, 2021
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The quick shifts in community quarantine classifications may leave many Filipinos confused over what's allowed and what's prohibited.

After two weeks of enhanced community quarantine or ECQ in the Greater Manila Area, Filipinos in and out of the capital region will now adjust to the more relaxed modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ until the end of April. Also placed under MECQ are Santiago City, Quirino, and Abra.


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Here's what changed with the shift from ECQ to MECQ according to Malacañang:


For Metro Manila, curfew has been shortened to 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. from the ECQ curfew of 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.


Just like in ECQ, strict home quarantine is still a must for all households. Authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) however are allowed to leave their homes for work and to buy essentials.


Age-based restrictions

Those below 18 and over 65 are required to stay home even in MECQ. Local government units however can ease the minimum age-based restriction to 15 years old depending on the COVID-19 situation in their area.


Public transportation remains operational at limited capacities in MECQ areas just like in ECQ areas. Biking is encouraged.


Religious gatherings such as masses are allowed at up to 10% capacity of the venue and can be increased to 30% depending on the LGU covering the area.

Gatherings for wakes and funerals are also allowed in areas under MECQ with attendance limited to immediate family members. Non-religious gatherings outside of residence remain prohibited in areas under MECQ.


For MECQ, individual outdoor exercise such as jogging, running or biking is allowed within the general area of their residence. During ECQ, the government limited outdoor exercise from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. within the barangay.

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Food and dining

Outdoor or alfresco dining is allowed under MECQ but indoor dine-in remains prohibited. Just like in ECQ, take-out and deliveries are still allowed in MECQ.


Businesses allowed to operate at full capacity during ECQ are still allowed to operate the same way during MECQ.

These businesses, which were on skeleton or reduced workforce during ECQ, are allowed to expand their operating capacity under MECQ:

  • Dental, optometry, rehabilitation, and other medical clinics
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Banks and money transfer services
  • Capital markets
  • Water supply and janitorial or sanitation services
  • Energy sector
  • Telecommunication companies
  • Airline and aircraft maintenance, Shipyard operations
  • Funeral and embalming services
  • Security personnel
  • Printing establishmnets
  • Repair and maintenance of machinery and equipment
  • Leasing of real and personal properties
  • Recruitment and employment activities
  • Lawyers

These businesses are not allowed during MECQ

  • Indoor dine-in services
  • Personal care services such as barbershops and salons
  • Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibition
  • Cinemas, theaters, karaoke bars and other entertainment venues with live performers
  • Internet cafes and other recreational venues
  • Kids' amusement and playrooms
  • Outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports
  • Gyms, fitness studios, and sports facilities
  • Casinos, cockpits, betting shops
  • Tourist attractions

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