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NCR back to GCQ until Apr. 4

The national government will be imposing additional restrictions in Metro Manila and other areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) status starting today until April 4, 2021, Malacañang announced yesterday.

In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said additional restrictions were approved by President Rodrigo Duterte through Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 104 due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in the country.

Roque said Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal will be joining Metro Manila under the GCQ classification starting today.

He dismissed as “fake news” that there would be hard lockdown in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.

“We won’t have a lockdown. Reports about a circuit breaker lockdown are fake news. That’s not true. Metro Manila will remain under GCQ along with the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal,” he said.

Under IATF Resolution No. 104, he said only essential travel into and out of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal will be allowed.

Roque described this as a “travel bubble” where residents will only be allowed to travel within their respective provinces.

“Traveling into and out of Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal will be prohibited. We will have a sort of bubble in NCR, and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal,” he said.

Travel of authorized persons outside their residences (APORs) such as essential workers, health and emergency frontline services personnel; government officials and government frontline personnel; duly-authorized humanitarian assistance actors; persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons; persons going to the airport for travel abroad, returning overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be unimpeded for as long as they show their respective work identification cards.

Individuals crossing zones for work or business and going back home will also be allowed to travel to and from the said areas.

“If you’re going back home that’s essential travel. All you need to do is show your ID to prove that you live there,” he said.

He expressed hope the public would understand that additional restrictions in the said areas were being done “for the common good.”

Despite these additional restrictions, Roque said public transportation will retain current capacity subject to minimum health standards.

Scheduled flights will not be canceled, however, he said non-essential travel including that for tourism, will be prohibited.

All public gatherings, including religious gatherings, will be prohibited but weddings, baptism, and funerals will be allowed but must observe a 10-person venue capacity.

Current operational capacities of essential and non-essential services and industries will remain.

However, face-to-face meetings, group meals in workplaces will be prohibited. Instead, work-from-home and virtual meetings are encouraged.

Roque said the IATF resolution also enjoins the private sector to adopt similar alternative working arrangements as those in place in the executive branch of government such as operating on a 30 to 50 capacity.*PNA

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