COVER STORY

LIST: One-week ECQ in Greater Manila area explained

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(CNN Philippines) — Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal will once again revert to stricter stay-at-home rules for a week starting March 29 up to Easter Sunday, April 4.

CNN Philippines summarizes the rules that will be in place under the enhanced community quarantine in the Greater Manila area, also dubbed as the "NCR Plus," based on the latest announcements of government officials.

• 6pm to 5am curfew will be imposed

The NCR Plus areas will be under a 6 pm to 5 am curfew with exception to authorized persons outside of residence, cargo vehicles, and public transportation. Persons below 18 and above 60 years old, pregnant women, those with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, and other health risks should remain in their homes at all times.

• Public transportation still operational at 50% maximum capacity

Transport Assistant Secretary Mark Steven Pastor said road, rail, maritime and aviation sectors of public transportation will still operate but will only cater to authorized persons outside of residences and at 50% capacity.

This means buses, UV Express, jeepneys, shuttle services, tricycles, taxis, and transport network vehicle services can ply the roads of the Greater Manila area but passengers must be one seat apart. Motorcycle taxis may operate but may ferry only essential workers.

Railway systems will continue but will be shut down on some days for annual maintenance works of the lines, operations. https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/3/28/Public-transport-in-NCR-Plus-bubble-operational-during-ECQ-.html

Domestic and international operations of air carriers will also be limited to essential travelers.

• Travel passes for authorized persons not required; quarantine passes encouraged when getting essentials

A travel pass will not be required among authorized persons outside residences and essential workers, but they may have to present their IDs to authorities. For others who need to obtain essential goods and services in grocery stores, pharmacies, or other establishments, they are encouraged to present their barangay-issued quarantine passes. If none, they may need to explain to authorities their purpose for going out.

• Mall operations, al fresco dining prohibited for the meantime, but delivery and other essential services will remain open

Health and frontline services, hospitals, groceries, delivery and courier services transporting food, medicine or essential goods may still operate at full capacity. Services in the agriculture, forestry and fishery industry must also not be hampered.

However, malls will be closed, and restaurants may only allow delivery and take-out services for now. Follow this thread of mall closures for the week.

• No religious gatherings and staycations

Any form of religious gatherings will now be prohibited, including the 10% allowance in capacity which the government previously allowed. 

Meanwhile, public gatherings such as weddings and baptism ceremonies may only have a maximum of 10 attendees. Indoor gatherings with persons outside of the immediate household will be prohibited as well.

Staycations are also temporarily suspended for now. 

The public is encouraged to resort to virtual Holy Week services.

• Skeleton workforce encouraged

Media, private establishments that provide essential goods and services, and workers accredited by the DOTr may work at 50% operational capacity. Other industries such as dental and veterinary clinics, banks, telcos, security, water and power supply companies, among others, may only have a skeleton workforce under ECQ.

• Cash aid assured among affected workers

Roque said financial aid for workers who will be affected by the one-week ECQ is now being finalized. Guidelines will be issued on Monday.

• House-to-house contact tracing expected

Authorities will also do a house-to-house search for possible COVID-19 patients, giving special attention to areas placed under granular lockdown.

Roque said some 500,000 anti-gen test kits will be procured to augment supply of swab test kits to help address the COVID-19 situation.

• Simultaneous vaccination among health workers, elderlies, persons with comorbidities will start

Senior citizens and people with comorbidities will now be inoculated at the same time as healthcare workers.

Hospitals and local government units are encouraged to craft a "substitution list" consisting of vaccinees from the A1, A2, and A3 sectors. A1 refers to medical frontliners, A2 to senior citizens, while A3 covers persons with comorbidities. Pre-registration links with their corresponding LGUs can be found here.

Senior citizens have until March 31 to register with their local government units for the vaccine drive.

Read our explainers on the country's ongoing vaccine drive here:

EXPLAINER: What you need to know about the PH COVID-19 vaccine drive 

TIMELINE: COVID-19 vaccine deliveries and rollout in the Philippines 

EXPLAINER: COVID-19 vaccines that will be tested and used in PH