CHILDREN five years old and above are now allowed to go out in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ), Malacañang announced Friday, July 9, 2021.
But they are not allowed in malls and other mixed use indoor/outdoor buildings and facilities, based on Resolution 125 of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Children in areas under GCQ with heightened restrictions, namely Cavite and Laguna, are also not covered by this latest resolution.
Outdoor areas are limited to parks, playgrounds, beaches, biking and hiking trails, outdoor tourist sites and attractions as may be defined by the Department of Tourism, outdoor non-contact sports courts and venues, and al fresco dining establishments.
However, the children must be accompanied by adults and must follow minimum public health standards, such as physical distancing, and wearing of face masks and face shields.
Roque said local government units (LGUs) are given the discretion to increase the age restriction for children, depending on the Covid-19 situation in the locality.
The IATF imposed stay-at-home restrictions on children and senior citizens, along with immunocompromised individuals and pregnant women, when a large part of the country went into lockdown due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in March 2020.
Age restrictions were relaxed in October 2020, with the IATF allowing those 15 to 65 years old to go out.
These were eased further in January 2021 to allow children 10 to 14 years old to step out of their homes. President Rodrigo Duterte, however, recalled the IATF resolution as a precautionary measure against the highly transmissible coronavirus variants.
During its July 8 meeting, the IATF also authorized special commercial flights that will bring home stranded Filipinos in Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other countries with travel restrictions.
A special working group (SWG) will determine the implementing protocols for the special commercial flights, in coordination with the concerned airlines.
The SWG will be composed of the Department of Health, Bureau of Quarantine, Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Transportation and its One-Stop Shop, Philippine Coast Guard and Department of Tourism. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / Marites Villamor-Ilano)