What now? MECQ again

PSA: Here are the updated guidelines for MECQ

Granting the request of exhausted medical frontliners for a “timeout,” President Rodrigo Duterte approved last night a Cabinet recommendation to revert Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal to a stricter quarantine from Aug. 4 to 18. 

To limit the movement of people, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said quarantine passes would once again be implemented. Local government units will be mandated to impose localized lockdowns as well as isolation of Covid-19 patients. Here are the updated guidelines for modified enhanced community or MECQ.

1. Minimum public health standards shall be complied with at all times. 

Strict home quarantine will be observed in all households. The movement of all residents will be limited to accessing essential goods and services. Pregnant women and any person below 21 years old, those who are 60 years old and above, and those with immunodeficiency or other health risks, will be required to remain at home at all times.

2. Only several sectors are allowed to operate at full capacity.

These include: 

● Banks and money transfer services

 ● Water supply and sanitation facilities

● Media establishments (with or without PCOO accreditation)

● BPOs and export-oriented establishments

● E-commerce companies

● Rental and leasing for real estate, vehicles, and equipment

● Energy and power companies

● Telecommunications companies, internet service providers, and cable television providers

● Housing services activities such as roofing, plumbing, and electrical works

3. Most industries and offices may operate at 50 percent operational capacity.

The following are also encouraged to work-from-home: 

● Administrative and office support

 ● Other financial services such as insurance and money exchange

● Advertising and market research 

● Legal and accounting services

● Other manufacturing industries like electrical machinery and wood products

 ● Management consultancy services 

● Architectural and engineering activities such as technical analysis

● Publishing and printing services

● Recruitment and placement agencies for overseas employment

● Computer programming and information management services

4. Public transportation shall be suspended.

Buses, jeepneys, taxis, trains, TNVS, and tricycles (but with exceptions, subject to the guidelines set by DILG and respective local government units) will not be allowed in areas under MECQ. 

The only public transportation allowed, however, will be publicshuttles for frontliners and workers in industries allowed to operate. The use of bikes and other non-motorized transportation is strongly encouraged. 

For private transport, only company shuttles with a passenger capacity of 50 percent—or personal vehicles owned by workers in permitted sectors with only two people per row—will be allowed.

5. All courts will be physically closed.

The Supreme Court said courts in Metro Manila and in other areas that will be under strict lockdown can be reached via email, hotline numbers, or Facebook accounts as posted on the High Court’s website.

6. Mass gatherings shall be prohibited.

Events such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities like cinemas or karaoke bars will not be allowed. Face-to-face or in person classes at all levels will be suspended, too.

 7. Dine-in restos, salons, gyms will close again.

Businesses recently allowed to open under the general community quarantine—such as dine-in restaurants, gyms, salons, and internet cafes—have been ordered to again temporarily shut down. Likewise, libraries, museums, and tourist destinations such as theme parks and water parks shall not be allowed to operate.