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Metro Manila, 4 provinces back to lockdown starting Monday

27 March 2021

By The SUN 

The curfew will be extended from 6pm to 5am (Rappler photo)

The Philippine government will put Metro Manila and its four neighboring provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal back under “enhanced community quarantine”, a virtual lockdown, starting Monday, Mar 29.

The strictest quarantine restrictions were recommended by the government’s anti-epidemic task force and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte earlier today, according to a statement released by Malacanang.

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The ECQ, which will last until Apr 4, is a throwback to the early days of the pandemic in the Philippines, when much of the country was locked down because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

The situation is even direr now, with daily coronavirus infections rising to record highs. Today’s daily tally of 9,595 is just slightly lower than yesterday’s all-time record of 9,838 cases.


The number of active infections is also at a record high of 118,122 cases, or 16.6% of the total tally of 712,442.

All public transportation will continue to operate, but with limited capacity

Under the ECQ that will take place from Monday, the following will be observed:

·         All public transportation will continue to run, subject to such capacity and guidelines to be issued by the Department of Transportation.  


·         Construction projects will also go ahead, subject to guidelines from the Department of Public Works and Highways.

·         A longer curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. will also be in place, while restaurant dine-is will be prohibited.

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·         Public gatherings of more than 10 people, as well as religious gatherings, are also not allowed.

·         Local government units will set up centers that will find, trace and isolate suspected Covid-19 cases


·         Municipality or city-scale lockdowns will be implemented in other areas such as the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Calabarzon and Region 3, especially Zambales

·         Implementation of simultaneous vaccination of frontline health workers and senior citizens, with a substitution list that will include those with co-morbities

It's not clear if people will be asked to show quarantine passes when they go out

In his briefing about the ECQ, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque did not, however, give any categorical answer to the question of whether quarantine passes will still be needed to go out. He suggested that people can simply explain to authorities why they are outside of their homes.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

He also did not respond fully to questions on whether aid will be forthcoming for those who will be adversely affected by the shutdown.

Roque said the government was forced to abandon its previous policy of not reverting to ECQ again as data showed that the healthcare system in the region has reached critical level.

He said declaring the lockdown during Holy Week makes sense as it will give the healthcare system a break, while there will be limited impact on the economy because of the long holiday from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday.


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