CONSTITUENTS of the Province of Cebu who are stranded in other towns and cities within the island of Cebu will now be allowed to return to their homes, provided that they are able to get the consent of their local chief executive.
This, as the Province of Cebu officially transitioned from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
"Residents of a municipality or component city of the Province of Cebu who are stranded in another municipality or city within Cebu, or Cebu City, shall be allowed to return to their LGU of residence provided they secure the written consent of the mayor of their LGU of residence," said Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia through her regular livestream on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
Under EO 17, which provides the GCQ protocol in the province, inter-island travel within Cebu, including Bantayan and the Camotes group of islands, will be allowed.
The operation of land public transport shall be allowed only in routes identified and approved by the Department of Transportation and/or Land Transportation Franchise Regulatory Board.
Aside from the applicable permits, operators must also secure a Provincial Public Utility Pass that will indicate the plate number of the vehicle, name of the driver, route and control number, among others.
Non-airconditioned buses and mini buses will ferry passengers at a reduced capacity of 50 percent.
An area at the Sta. Lucia Square in Barangay Oriental, Consolacion town, has been temporarily assigned as the bus terminal for the north, while Cebuano businessman Bunny Pages has offered space at his popular Lantaw Native Restaurant at Cebu South Coastal Road in Talisay as a temporary terminal for the south.
The cities of Cebu and Mandaue where the Cebu South Bus Terminal and Cebu North Bus Terminal are, respectively, located will continue to be on ECQ until the end of the month.
The Provincial Government will keep strict border control measures with Cebu City, except for those identified as exempted persons under Executive Order (EO) 5-Q-1.
Private lawyers may cross borders but only to attend their scheduled court hearings.
From ECQ to GCQ
All the 44 towns and component cities of the province, except for Talisay, will be on GCQ until May 31.
Talisay will transition instead to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) upon the request of Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas, Jr. given the rising number of Covid-19 cases in his locality which has reached 16 with six deaths as of Tuesday, May 19.
Across the province, tricycles and trisikads will be allowed to operate again, provided that they only take one passenger per trip and ply only within their localities.
Private vehicles, on the other hand, shall be allowed to operate upon the issuance of a vehicle quarantine pass by the LGU concerned.
The number of passengers, including driver shall be limited as follows: Sedan (four), pick-up (four), sports utility vehicle (six) and van (eight).
The use of bikes and other non-motorized modes of transport is allowed subject to strict physical distancing measures.
All forms of businesses and industries will be allowed to resume operations except the following:
•Gyms, fitness, sports and recreation centers;
•Bars and pubs;
•Other leisure establishments.
Establishments that are allowed to operate are required to craft a health security plan incorporating home remedies and a business continuity plan.
Hotels and resorts will be allowed to operate provided that they strictly implement a "one person per room" policy.
Bathing and swimming in the sea, rivers and other bodies of open water between 8 a.m. to 12 noon may be allowed to help boost the immune system.
Restaurants, food chains and eateries may cater to dine-in transactions again, but they must reduce their total customer capacity to 50 percent. The use of air conditioners is not allowed.
Banks and other financial institutions will open at their regular office hours.
Government offices may resume operations upon the discretion of the local chief executive.
Malls and shopping centers will be allowed to open for as long as they do not use air conditioners and maintain social distancing.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church will continue to livestream the Holy Mass while on GCQ.
The faithful, though, will be allowed to visit the Blessed Sacrament subject to strict protocols such as no touching of the icons. Only three persons are allowed to occupy each pew.
The governor reminded Cebuanos that even on GCQ, they should only go out for essential activities such as grocery shopping and buying medicine, among others.
"GCQ (general community quarantine) na man ta, pero disiplina gihapon... We are still under community quarantine. Kinahanglan gihapon nga duna moy quarantine pass," she said.
Those who are under 21 years old, except for employees of industries that are allowed to operate, are prohibited from going out.
Also not allowed to go out are persons who have immunodeficiencies and health risks, regardless of age.
They may only be allowed to go out for treatment.
The 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will remain during the GCQ period.
The people are still mandated to wear masks in public places, while establishments must continue checking the body temperatures of those entering their premises.
The setting up of foot baths and alcohol dispensers or hand washing areas should also continue. (RTF, KFD, JCT)