Updated Quarantine Guidelines for ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, MGCQ in the Philippines

HSBC Philippines
Philippine Updated Quaranting Guidelines
Checkpoints resurfaced as NCR and 4 provinces reverted to MECQ from August 4-18, 2020. These areas are on General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status effective August 19.

The Philippine government has placed the country under varying levels of community quarantine since March 2020 to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In a televised briefing on August 17, President Duterte announced the revert of the following areas to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status effective August 19, 2020:

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City in Cebu, and the municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion.

The rest of the Philippines remain under the most relaxed lockdown level, Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

Prior to the declaration, Metro Manila and its nearby provinces had been set to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from August 4-18, 2020.

The following are key points of the updated guidelines released by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) regarding various quarantine classifications:

UPDATED SAFETY PROTOCOLS, as of August 18, 2020:

The use of face shield, aside from face mask, is now mandatory for all commuters and employees starting August 15.

MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE

ECQ:

  • 100% stay at home
  • Exception for workers in offices or industries permitted to operate

MECQ:

  • 100% stay at home
  • Restricted movement, only for accessing essential goods and services
  • Exception for workers in offices or industries permitted to operate
  • Persons below twenty-one (21) years old, sixty (60) years old and above or those at high risk for contracting the COVID-19 disease are required to stay home

GCQ:

  • Persons below twenty-one (21) years old, sixty (60) years old and above or those at high risk for contracting the COVID-19 disease are required to stay home

MGCQ:

  • Persons below twenty-one (21) years old, sixty (60) years old and above or those at high risk for contracting the COVID-19 disease are required to stay home

TRAVEL & TRANSPORTATION

Motorcycle barriers are required for pillion riding or back-riding.

ECQ:

  • No domestic flights, with limited international flights
  • Public transportation is not allowed
  • Shuttle services for employees of permitted offices or establishments, as well as point-to-point transport service, granted permission to operate by the government, with healthcare workers and other frontliners given priority

MECQ:

  • No domestic flights, with limited international flights
  • Controlled inbound flights
  • No inter-island travel
  • Public transportation is not allowed
  • Private transportation such as company shuttles and personal vehicles allowed subject to the guidelines provided by the Department of Transportation (DOTr)
  • Biking and non-motorized transport encouraged

GCQ:

  • Public transport is allowed with strict social distancing
  • Inter-island travel from GCQ to GCQ allowed with safety protocols.

MGCQ:

  • Public transport is allowed with strict social distancing
  • Inter-island travel from GCQ to GCQ allowed with safety protocols.

GATHERINGS

ECQ:

  • Mass gatherings are not allowed
  • Only mass gatherings that are essential for the provision of government services or authorized humanitarian activities permitted

MECQ:

  • Highly restricted (maximum of 5)
  • Non-essential work gatherings are prohibited

GCQ:

  • Gatherings are limited to not more than ten (10) persons
  • Non-essential work gatherings are prohibited

MGCQ:

  • Fifty percent (50%) of the seating or venue capacity for movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities, religious services, and work conferences

SCHOOLS

ECQ:

School premises are closed

MECQ:

School premises are closed

GCQ:

  • Skeletal workforce permitted in schools
  • Face-to-face or in-person classes are suspended

MGCQ:

  • Limited face-to-face or in-person classes may be conducted; strict compliance with minimum public health standards and consultations with local government units (LGUs) and guidelines set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)

WORK

ECQ:

Select industry workers permitted

MECQ:

  • Essential industries permitted to work at full capacity, with others operating at a fifty percent (50%) capacity
  • Work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements encouraged

GCQ:

Alternative work arrangements

MGCQ:

  • Full operating capacity for work in all public and private offices
  • Alternative work arrangements for persons who are sixty (60) years old and above, or those with other health risks

GOVERNMENT SERVICE

ECQ:

  • Skeletal workforce onsite
  • Work from home arrangements

MECQ:

  • Skeletal workforce onsite
  • Work from home arrangements

GCQ:

Work in all government offices under alternative work arrangements

MGCQ:

Work in government offices may be at full operational capacity, or under alternative work arrangements

EXERCISE AND SPORTS

ECQ:

Outdoor exercise not allowed

MECQ:

  • Limited outdoor exercise (Outdoor walk, Jog/run, Bike)
  • with face mask
  • 2-meter physical distancing

GCQ:

  • Indoor and non-contact sports allowed
  • Walking, jogging, running, biking, golf, swimming, tennis, badminton, equestrian, range shooting, and skateboarding
  • Minimum public health standards such as the wearing of masks and the maintenance of social distancing protocols, and no sharing of equipment where applicable, are observed
  • Spectators in all non-contact sports and exercises are still prohibited

MGCQ:

  • Indoor and non-contact sports allowed
  • Walking, jogging, running, biking, golf, swimming, tennis, badminton, equestrian, range shooting, and skateboarding
  • Minimum public health standards such as the wearing of masks and the maintenance of social distancing protocols, and no sharing of equipment where applicable, are observed
  • Spectators in all non-contact sports and exercises are still prohibited

Developments and additional regulations are expected to be released as the NCR (National Capital Region) and other neighboring provinces transition back to GCQ on August 19.

CHECK THIS OUT: What To Do When Suspected or Confirmed to Have COVID in the Philippines

SEE: Guidelines for Staycation Tourists

As the Philippines adjusts to a new normal, education also takes on a distance learning approach to keep children safe amid the pandemic.

TELL US in the comments below your questions about the quarantine levels enforced in the Philippines.

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.