NCR Plus is Under GCQ with Heightened Restrictions – Does That Mean We Can Travel Again?
NCR Plus is under GCQ with stricter restrictions from May 15-May 31, 2021.
by Ina Louise Manto | May 15, 2021
After being on Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), areas falling under NCR Plus will revert to GCQ but with heighted restrictions beginning May 15 until May 31, following President Duterte’s announcement on Thursday.
What is GCQ with heightened restrictions?
Just a quick refresher, the NCR Plus Bubble, also known as The Greater Manila Area, includes Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna. The term was coined in March 2021, after the sudden surge in COVID-19 positive cases. Beginning May 15, these areas will be under GCQ but with heightened restrictions. This means that:
This is GCQ with heightened restrictions for our reference, the only difference is the last bullet. Ang gulo pa din. pic.twitter.com/tl4waETQsH
— Dr. Gia Sison (@giasison) May 14, 2021
Who is allowed to travel in and out of NCR Plus areas?
Only essential travel will be allowed in and out of NCR Plus and you must be an APOR or authorized person outside of residence to be allowed travel. According to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), APORs are as follows: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2021/03mar/20210328-OMNIBUS-Guidelines-RRD.pdf
- Health and emergency frontline services personnel
- Government officials and government frontline personnel
- Duly-authorized humanitarian assistance actors (HAAs)
- Persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons
- Persons going to the airport for travel abroad
- Anyone crossing zones for work or business
The following can also be considered as APOR:
- Returning or repatriated OFWs and other Overseas Filipinos (OFs) returning to their places of residence
- Other persons transported through efforts of the national government
Otherwise, travel will not be permitted.
Will there be public transportation available?
Yes, public transportation (road, rail, maritime, and aviation) will continue to operate at such capacities and protocols in accordance with the Department of Transportation’s guidelines.
What are the protocols in establishments and activities within NCR Plus?
Indoor dine-in services shall be at 20% venue or seating capacity. On the other hand, outdoor or alfresco dining will be at 50% capacity.
Outdoor tourist attractions will be allowed to operate at 30% capacity.
Only 10% of venue capacity will be allowed for religious gatherings and gatherings for necrological services, wakes, and inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19.
Personal care services such as salons, parlors, and beauty clinics will be allowed to operate at 10% venue capacity. The same protocol will be followed for non-contact sports and outdoor contact sports, games, and scrimmages.
Specialized markets of the Department of Tourism will also be allowed operation.
Individuals who are 18-65 years of age are allowed to leave their places of residence.
GCQ will remain for these locations
The following provinces will follow the regular GCQ guidelines and protocols during the same time period:
- Cordillera Administrative Region: Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Abra
- Cagayan Valley: Cagayan Province, Isabela, Nueva Ecija
- CALABARZON: Batangas, Quezon
- Puerto Princesa City
- Iligan City
- Davao City
- Lanao Del Sur province
As of writing, the Philippines have recorded 1,124,724 COVID-19 confirmed cases with 55,260 active cases and 18,821 deaths.