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Mass gatherings banned in Metro Manila amid spike in Covid-19 cases

21 March 2021

By The SUN 

Non-essential travel will be banned in Metro Manila & 4 provinces under GCQ

Stricter Covid-19 restrictions which include a ban on public gatherings and non-essential travel take effect today, Mar 22, in Metro Manila and four provinces in Calabarzon and Central Luzon, as the Philippines struggles to contain a surge in infections.

Sunday saw another 7,757 new Covid-19 cases being recorded, the country’s second highest daily tally since the pandemic began. This was just 42 cases fewer than the record 7,799 cases posted Saturday.

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In response to the record spike in cases, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a resolution by the coronavirus task force mandating the tighter restrictions that will last for two weeks, or from Mar 22 to Apr 4.

The order reverts Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal to General Community Quarantine status, and includes them in a "Subject Area" that also includes Metro Manila in a bid to prevent cases spreading to neighboring provinces.

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In a press briefing Sunday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said only the following people will be allowed outside of their homes under the new rules:

·         Essential workers, who will need to show their work ID

·         Health and emergency frontline staff


·         Government officials and frontline personnel

·         Duly-authorized humanitarian assistance workers

·         Persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons

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·         Persons going to the airport for travel abroad

·         Anyone crossing zones for work or business and going back home

·         New arrivals from overseas

All public masses will be suspended under the new rules

Roque also said that church services will stop, except for weddings, baptisms, and funeral services where only a maximum of 10 people can participate.


Restaurants will also stop providing dine-in services, but outdoor dining and takeout orders will be allowed to continue.

Roque ruled out giving financial assistance to any sectors, saying business establishments remain open, unlike in the more stringent community quarantines where only a limited number of enterprises  can operate.


The new infections raised the country’s Covid-19 tally to date to 663,794. Of these, 73,072 are active cases. The total death toll is 12,968.

Most of the new patients, or 95% of active cases, only experienced mild symptoms, while 2.3% were asymptomatic. Another 1.1% of the patients have severe symptoms while 1.0% are in critical condition.

Despite the high numbers, two laboratories still failed to submit their data on time, according to the Department of Health.


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