BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has identified Bacolod City as among the low-risk areas to be downscaled to a Modified General Community Quarantine.
But what really are the guidelines under the MGCQ?
While waiting for the Executive Order from City Hall, the following are the guidelines for areas placed under the Modified General Community Quarantine according to the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines.
Curfew, sports, and public gatherings
All persons shall now be allowed outside their residences.
Individual and group outdoor exercises including non-contact sports such as golf, tennis, table tennis, swimming, etc. shall be allowed provided that minimum public health standards shall be strictly enforced.
Public 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 allowed provided that participants shall be limited to 50 percent of the venue or seating capacity.
School, and work
Residential or face-to-face classes may be conducted in Higher Education Institutions (HEis) provided there is strict compliance with minimum health standards, consultation with local government units, and compliance with guidelines set by CHED. HEI activities that involve mass gathering of students shall continue to be prohibited.
Work in all public and private offices shall be allowed to resume physical work in full capacity. Alternative arrangements shall be done for persons who are sixty (60) years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women.
The road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation shall be allowed to operate at the capacity in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation, provided, that in all public transports, a strict one meter distance between passengers shall be observed and appropriate engineering controls are in place.
Private transportation such as company shuttles and personal vehicles utilized by persons authorized outside their residences are allowed subject to the guidelines provided by DOTr. The use of bikes and other non-motorized transportation are strongly encouraged.
Businesses to open
Category I industries are under maximum operational capacity. These include power, energy, water, and other utilities, agriculture, fishery, and forestry industries, food manufacturing and food supply chain businesses, including food retail establishments such as supermarkets, grocery stores, and food preparation establishments in so far as take-out and delivery services, food delivery services, health-related establishments, the logistics sector, information technology, and telecommunication companies, the media, at full operational capacity;
Category II Industries are also under maximum operational capacity. This includes mining and other manufacturing, and electronic commerce companies, as well as other delivery, repair and maintenance, and housing and office services.
Category III — Financial services, legal and accounting, and auditing services, professional, scientific, technical, and other non-leisure services, and other non-leisure wholesale and retail establishments – are at maximum operational capacity. However, barbershops, salons, and other personal care service establishments shall be allowed to operate at a maximum of 50% venue capacity. Dine-in service in food retail establishments such as supermarkets, grocery stores, and food preparation establishments shall be allowed provided that the seating capacity may not exceed 50%.
Category IV industries like gyms, sports fitness establishments, and bars are allowed but at only 50 percent maximum capacity.
All public and private construction projects shall be allowed, but with strict compliance to the issued construction safety guidelines for the implementation of infrastructure projects during the COVID-19 pandemic by the DPWH.
Observance of minimum public health standards
Minimum public health standards as prescribed by the DOH and such related protocols or guidelines issued by the appropriate government agencies for the GCQ shall be applied to the MGCQ and shall be complied with at all times.