Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

MANILA – Trips to tourist destinations such as beaches, resorts and water parks are still prohibited under three types of community quarantines (CQs) being implemented by the government.

In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque enumerated the sectors which will be allowed, partially allowed, and not allowed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), modified ECQ (MECQ), general community quarantine (GCQ).

The new set of guidelines were released by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Wednesday.

However, the guidelines did not clarify whether these sectors will be allowed in areas placed under modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Aside from trips to tourist destinations, other sectors which will remain banned under the ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ include travel agencies, tour operators, reservation service and related activities; gyms/fitness studios and sports facilities.

Also banned are entertainment industries (e.g. cinemas, theaters, karaoke bars, etc.); libraries, archives, museums, and cultural centers; and personal care services (e.g. massage parlors, sauna, facial care, waxing, etc.).

Barber shops and salons are also banned but this is still being reviewed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

All other sectors and relevant value chains will be allowed under the GCQ.

The majority of these sectors and relevant value chains will either be partially allowed or not allowed to resume operations under the ECQ and MECQ.

Under the ECQ, the public is required to stay home; mass gatherings are banned; and public transport is suspended.

The public is required to stay home; mass gatherings will be highly restricted; public transport is suspended but biking and non-motorized transport is encouraged under the MECQ.

Under the GCQ, only the elderly and youth are required to stay home; mass gatherings will be restricted; public transport with strict safe distancing and inter-island (GCQ to GCQ) with safety protocols will be allowed.

Construction under MECQ

Roque also released a list of construction safety guidelines for the resumption of infrastructure projects for areas under MECQ.

Under the guidelines, only workers between 21 to 59 years old without pre-existing health conditions are allowed to resume work.

Workers will have to undergo coronavirus disease (Covid-19) test to be funded by the contractors before allowing them to work; and be housed in barracks for the project duration with segregated facilities. Initial transport via private shuttle; and quarantine passes will have to be provided for workers and onsite employees, respectively.

As part of public health standards, contractors should also ensure that their workers observe safe distancing; daily disinfection; and minimize errands outside the construction site.

Workers returning from outside will also comply with mandated quarantine while deliveries and disposal should be handled by a separate team.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) gears should be provided for all employees and a safety officer should also be assigned to ensure compliance with the health protocols.

The Department of Public Works and Highways and local government units with the Department of Labor and Employment are expected to monitor and enforce these guidelines for public and private projects, respectively. (ia/PNA)

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