Thursday, September 16, 2021

Cebu Province now under GCQ ‘with heightened restrictions’

Cebu Province now under GCQ ‘with heightened restrictions’. (File photo)

THE Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) granted the appeal of the Cebu Provincial Government to lower its community quarantine status from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ).

In its Resolution 130-D issued on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, the IATF-MEID placed Cebu Province under GCQ with heightened restrictions until Aug. 15.

The tri-cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu will remain under MECQ, the second most stringent quarantine level.

Heightened restrictions Cebu Province must implement are the following:

* Food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants and eateries may operate with their indoor dine-in services at the venue or seating capacity of 20 percent and with their al fresco or outdoor dine-in services at the venue or seating capacity of 50 percent;

* Personal care services, such as beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops and nail spas may operate up to 30 percent of venue or seating capacity. These establishments can only provide services that can accommodate the wearing of face masks at all times by clients and service providers;

* Meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibition events and social events in venue establishments will not be allowed;

* Outdoor tourist attractions, as may be defined by the Department of Tourism (DOT), will be allowed at 30 percent venue capacity with strict adherence to minimum public health standards;

* Under the safety seal certification program, business establishments awarded safety seal certifications will be allowed to operate at an additional 10 percentage points beyond the prescribed on-site capacity or venue/seating capacity, whichever is applicable;

* Indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions will not be allowed to operate;

* Specialized markets of the DOT such as staycations without age restrictions will be allowed at such capacities, protocols and restrictions as may be imposed by the DOT.

* Interzonal travel (or the travel from one community quarantine status to areas with different community quarantine classification) will be allowed subject to restrictions of the local government unit (LGU) of destination. Point-to-point travel to areas under GCQ and modified GCQ will be allowed without age restrictions subject to an RT-PCR test before travel for those below 18 years old above 65 years old and other protocols and restrictions as may be imposed by the DOT and the LGU of destination;

* Religious gatherings will be allowed up to 10 percent of the venue capacity as long as there is no objection from the concerned LGU. The LGU may also increase the allowable venue capacity up to 30 percent. While all religious denominations are also asked to strictly observe their submitted protocols and the minimum public health standards;

* Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other Covid-19 will be allowed provided that the same will be limited to immediate family members and with full compliance of minimum prescribed health protocols.

Lastly, other provisions of the Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of community quarantine in the country, as amended and not affected by the mentioned protocols, will continue to be in effect.

The use of active transportation will also be promoted, the IATF-MEID said.

On July 29, Malacañang announced that the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu will be placed under MECQ from Aug. 1 to 15, a move that Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes appealed.

On July 30, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced that the entire Cebu Island will be placed under MECQ in the same period

Local officials in Cebu initially agreed to implement MECQ guidelines until the Provincial Government asked the IATF-MEID to reconsider its decision. (WBS)


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