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  • Will Schools, Salons, And Malls Reopen Under GCQ? What's Allowed Under ECQ And GCQ

    Unless a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available, Philippines will be under GCQ after the ECQ ends.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Will Schools, Salons, And Malls Reopen Under GCQ? What's Allowed Under ECQ And GCQ
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano
  • While the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will be implemented in Metro Manila until May 15, 2020, some parts of the country that are considered low-risk areas have already been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) since May 1. Areas under GCQ have a more relaxed set of guidelines, but how does it differ from the ECQ?

    Enhanced community quarantine vs. general community quarantine

    According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the GCQ will be considered the ‘new normal,’ until such time that a vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) becomes available. In a Facebook album, the Presidential Communications Group differentiates the guidelines between the two, in accordance with Executive Order No. 112.

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    Who are allowed to go out?

    Going out of the house for leisure is still not allowed under the GCQ. Movement will be limited to the procurement of essential goods and services, and for work in the offices or industries that have permission to operate.

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    Under ECQ, only the following individuals will be allowed to go out:

    • Pastors, priests, imams or such other religious ministers conducting necrological or funeral rights
    • Immediate family members of the deceased from causes other than COVID-19 attending the wake or interment
    • Veterinarians and veterinary clinic staff
    • Security personnel
    • Repatriated OFWs in compliance with approved quarantine protocols
    • Non-OFWs who ay be required to undergo mandatory facility-based quarantine
    • Healthcare workers and other employees from exempted establishments

    Who are not allowed to go out?

     Both the ECQ and GCQ prohibits the following individuals from going out of their house during quarantine:

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    • Persons below 21 years old
    • Persons 60 years old and above
    • Those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks
    • Pregnant women
    • Any person who resides with the aforementioned

    However, an exception will be made when obtaining essential goods and services.

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    Industries allowed to operate for both ECQ and GCQ

    Under the GCQ, more businesses, sectors, and government work will be allowed to resume operations. But strict public health measures will still be enfored, including physical distancing, wearing of face masks in public, mandatory temperature checks, and regular use of disinfectants.

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    Here is the list of industries and establishments allowed to operate for both ECQ and GCQ

    1) Hospitals and medical clinics

    2) Dental and EENT clinics

    3) Veterinary clinics

    4) Agriculture and fisheries

    5) Manufacturing and processing plants

    • Basic food products
    • Medicine and vitamins, medical supplies, devices, and equipment
    • Essential products (e.g. soap and detergent, diapers, hygiene products, and disinfectants)

    6) Delivery services

    • Food
    • Medicine
    • Essential goods
    • Clothing
    • Accessories
    • Hardware
    • Housewares
    • School and office supplies
    • Pet food and other veterinary products

    7) Banks, money transfer services, and capital markets

    8) Utilities

    • Power
    • Energy
    • Water
    • Information technology
    • Telecommunications
    • Facilities
    • Waste disposal services
    • Property management
    • Building utility services

    9) Airlines and aircraft maintenance employees

    10) Media establishments at 50% operational capacity for ECQ and full capacity for GCQ

    11) Construction workers accredited by DWPH that will work on:

    • Quarantine and isolation facilities
    • Health facilities
    • Emergency works
    • Flood control
    • Other disaster risk reduction and rehabilitation orgs

    12) Manufacturing companies and suppliers of equipment or products necessary to perform construction works

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    13) Workers accredited by the Department of Transportation

    14) Postal and courier services

    15) Funeral and embalming services

    16) Business process outsourcing companies (BPO)

     17) Humanitarian assistance personnel and individuals performing relief operations from:

    • Civil society organizations
    • Non-government organizations (NGOs)
    • United Nations – Humanitarian Country Teams 

    18) Retail establishments

    • Groceries
    • Supermarkets
    • Hypermarkets
    • Convenience stores
    • Public markets
    • Pharmacies
    • Drug stores
    • Food preparation (take-out and delivery services)
    • Water refilling stations
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    Establishments only allowed to operate under GCQ

     Malls and shopping centers may open in areas under GCQ, however leisure establishments will remain closed. Establishments that are allowed to operate may only operate at a limited capacity. Foot traffic may also be limited. Persons below 21 years old and those who are 60 and above may not be allowed to enter, except when obtaining essential goods and services.

    Amusement, gaming, and fitness establishments, as well as those in the kids and tourism industries will not be allowed to operate during the GCQ.

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    Here are the other industries permitted to operate under GCQ:

    • Mining and other manufacturing expoert-oriented companies
    • Electronic commerce companies
    • Delivery, repair and maintenance
    • Housing and office services
    • Financial services
    • Legal and accounting, and auditing services
    • Professional, scientific, technical, and other non-leisure activities
    • Non-leisure wholesale and retail establishments

    Will public transportation resume?

    Road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation shall operate at a reduced capacity. A strict 1 meter distance between passengers will be observed.

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    Will schools reopen under GCQ?

    Physical classes will remain suspended for the duration of the GCQ. However, higher education institutions, subject to the guidelines issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), may:

    Hold classes through flexible learning arrangements to finish AY 2019-2020
    Operate at a limited capacity to receive students’ requirements
    Prepare and issue credentials to students

    Will salons and barber shops open under GCQ?

    Yes! Category III industries are allowed to operate at a maximum of fifty percent work-on-site arrangement. This includes barber shops, salon, and other personal care services.

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    Will mass gatherings be allowed?

    Contrary to previous reports, mass gatherings like movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities and religious gatherings are still prohibited and highly discouraged under the GCQ. However, essential work gatherings and religious activities may continue, as long as strict physical distancing is maintained.

    Which areas remain under ECQ and which ones are tagged as low-risk? Click here for the full list.

    For the latest news and updates on COVID-19, check out reportr.world/covid-19.

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