ECQ Travel Guidelines: What Are ‘Tiny Bubbles’ and Who Can Enter Them?

Only APORs are allowed to travel during ECQ.
by | August 10, 2021

Now that Metro Manila is on its third ECQ run, new community quarantine protocols and terms are still being coined, including “tiny bubbles” announced by the Philippine National Police.


What are “tiny bubbles”?

PNP Chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar announced during a government briefing on August 5 that individual cities and municipalities in the National Capital Region, beginning August 6, will become individual bubbles or “tiny bubbles”.

During the second ECQ in March 2021, a new travel bubble was coined, the NCR Plus Areas, which includes Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan. Currently, only Metro Manila and Laguna are placed under ECQ.


Who can travel in these tiny bubbles?

Only working APORs (Authorized Personnel Outside Residence) and non-APORs who have scheduled vaccination or need medical attention are allowed to cross different tiny bubbles. Consumer APORs, are only allowed to travel within their cities or municipalities. Consumer APORs are those who are going out to purchase goods.


What should APORs bring when traveling?

According to PNP Chief Eleazar, there will be inter-city checkpoints or Quarantine Control Points (QCP) between NCR cities and Pateros borders during the August 2021 ECQ.

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya shared the following must be presented by APORs to police authorities manning QCPs when traveling:

  1. IATF IDs issued by regulatory agencies;
  2. Valid IDs or pertinent documentation issued by establishments allowed to operate under the current quarantine classification;
  3. Other proof of evidence that the purpose of travel is allowed.

An unauthorized person outside of residence (UPOR) will not be allowed to pass checkpoints.


For non-APORs fetching APORs in tiny bubbles 

The “hatid-sundo” scheme was finally allowed by the PNP during ECQ. Non-APOR drivers who are fetching APORs across the tiny bubbles are required to bring the following documents:

  • Certificate of employment for the APOR workers
  • Copy of the employer’s business permit
  • Certification from the employer, indicating the name, contact number of the driver and employer, and vehicle details


Who are APORs?

According to the Omnibus Guidelines, the following are APORs:

  • Health and emergency frontline services and uniformed personnel
  • Government officials and employees on official travel
  • Duly-authorized relief and humanitarian assistance actors
  • Persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons
  • Persons going to and from the airport
  • Anyone crossing zones for work in permitted industries
  • Those who have scheduled vaccination
  • Person availing of DFA consular services with confirmed appointments
  • Public utility vehicle operators


Important reminders during ECQ


The following protocols shall be observed from August 6 to 21, 2021:

  • Quarantine passes are required in the following NCR cities: Quezon City, Manila City, Caloocan City, Valenzuela City, San Juan City, Navotas City
  • There is a curfew from 8 PM to 4 AM
  • Only APORs are allowed to leave their residence
  • Non-APORs are not allowed to enter Metro Manila


The National Capital Region is placed under the strictest quarantine classification, ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) from August 6 to 21, 2021. The same classification includes Laguna, Iloilo City, and Cagayan de Oro City, which will be implemented until August 15.


ECQ August 2021: What Are the Activities Allowed Under Different Quarantine Classification?

ECQ in NCR: Important Restrictions to Take Note Of for August 2021
PSA: Passport Appointments at NCR Consular Offices Are Suspended During ECQ

When she’s not writing, Ina’s busy curating playlists that will save her when words don’t work, reading, annoying her cat, or thinking of her next meal.

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