EXPLAINER: GCQ with 'heightened restrictions' guidelines

MANILA, Philippines – After the month-long imposition of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), Metro Manila and four nearby provinces, also known as NCR Plus, will transition to general community quarantine (GCQ) but with "heightened restrictions."
EXPLAINER: GCQ 2021 guidelines

The new community quarantine classification will take effect on Saturday, May 15 until the end of the month.

SEE ALSO: Summary of latest classifications for May 2021

Filipinos are encouraged to take note of the GCQ guidelines or protocols.

What is GCQ again?

Based on Omnibus Guidelines as of May 6, GCQ refers to the implementation of temporary measures limiting movement and transportation, regulation of operating industries, and presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

On GCQ with heightened restrictions in the NCR Plus

Only essential travel into and out of the NCR Plus shall be allowed. Public transportation shall remain operational at such capacities and protocols in accordance with the Department of Transportation guidelines while the use of active transportation shall be promoted.

Also, indoor dine-in services in NCR Plus shall be at 20% venue or seating capacity while outdoor or al fresco dining shall be at 50% venue or seating capacity.

Outdoor tourist attractions in the NCR Plus, on the other hand, may be opened at 30% with strict adherence to minimum public health standards.

Further allowed in the NCR Plus are specialized markets of the Department of Tourism (DOT) following the minimum public health standards and implementation of protocols and restrictions as set by the DOT.

Religious gatherings and gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 in NCR Plus shall be allowed up to 10% of the venue capacity.

Also continued to be allowed in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions are non-contact sports in outdoor contact sports, games, scrimmages; and personal care services that allow for services not requiring mask removal, such as salons, parlors, beauty clinics, etc at 30% capacity.

Individuals, 18-65 years of age, can leave their places of residence in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.

Meanwhile, entertainment venues, such as bars, concert halls, theaters, etc; recreational venues, such as internet cafes, billiards halls, arcades, etc; amusement parks, fairs, playgrounds, kiddie rides; indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions; venues for meetings, conferences, exhibitions shall not be allowed in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.

Interzonal travel from NCR Plus areas, except those conducted by Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs), shall remain prohibited in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.

GCQ General Guidelines (applies to other GCQ areas)

1. Minimum public health standards shall be complied with at all times for the duration of the GCQ.

2. The movement of all persons shall be limited to accessing goods and services from permitted establishments, for work in such establishments, or for such other activities allowed.

3. Any person below eighteen (18) years old, those who are over sixty-five years (65) of age, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women shall be required to remain in their residences at all times, except for obtaining essential goods and services, or for work in industries and offices or such other activities permitted in this Section. Local government units may relax the minimum age range down to fifteen (15) years old, depending on the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions.

4. All establishments, persons, or activities permitted to operate, work, or be undertaken during ECQ under Sections 2(4) of the Omnibus Guidelines shall be allowed to operate at full on-site capacity.

5. All establishments, persons, or activities not permitted to operate, work, or be undertaken during ECQ shall be allowed to operate anywhere between fifty (50%) to one hundred percent (100%) on-site capacity as may be determined by the DTI while encouraging work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements, where applicable. From the maximum set by DTI, the LGUs may lower on-site capacities down to the minimum of fifty percent (50%) as set by DTI depending on the COVID-19 situation within their jurisdiction.

Notwithstanding the foregoing and without prejudice to previous IATF resolutions, the following establishments, persons, or activities shall not be permitted to operate, work, or be undertaken during GCQ:

a. Entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas

b. Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues;

c. Amusement parks or theme parks, fairs/peryas, kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides;

d. Cas*nos, horse racing, sabong and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments, except as may be authorized by the IATF or the Office of the President for the purpose of raising revenue for the government;

Note: PCSO lotto selling of tickets are allowed under GCQ areas

e. Outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports, scrimmages, games, or activities;

The foregoing is likewise without prejudice to the authority of DTI to issue a negative list of industries that shall remain prohibited even in areas under GCQ.

6. All construction projects shall be allowed subject to strict compliance with the construction safety guidelines issued by the DPWH.

7. Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall be fully operational and shall operate at a minimum of thirty percent (30%) up to full on-site capacity as determined by the head of the agency, in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations issued by the CSC.

8. Only hotels or accommodation establishments with valid DOT Accreditation shall be allowed to accommodate guests and clients for legitimate purposes under a state of a public health emergency. The operations of such hotels and accommodation establishments, as well as ancillary establishments within their premises such as restaurants, cafés, gyms, spas, function halls, and the like, shall be subject to guidelines issued by the DOT and the IATF.

9. Gatherings outside of residences shall be prohibited except for those permitted in GCQ. Gatherings at residences with any person outside of one’s immediate household shall likewise be prohibited. However, gatherings that are essential for the provision of health services, government services, or humanitarian activities authorized by the appropriate government agency or instrumentality shall be allowed.

Religious gatherings shall be allowed up to thirty percent (30%) of the venue capacity.

10. Face-to-face or in-person classes for basic education shall be suspended. Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for higher education and technical vocational education and training may be allowed, subject to the guidelines of CHED and TESDA, respectively.

11. The road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation shall be allowed to operate at such capacity and protocols in accordance with guidelines issued by the DOTr.

12. The movement of cargo/delivery vehicles, as well as vehicles used by public utility companies, shall be unhampered.

13. Outdoor non-contact sports and other forms of exercise such as but not limited to walking, jogging, running, biking, golf, swimming, tennis, badminton, equestrian, range shooting, diving, and skateboarding are allowed.

14. Uniform curfew hours may be imposed by LGUs, subject to the guidelines issued by the DILG. Workers, cargo vehicles, public transportation, and operating hours of permitted establishments, however, shall not be restricted by such curfew.

OMNIBUS Guidelines May 6, 2021 by TheSummitExpress on Scribd

— The Summit Express

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