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CHURCHES in Metro Manila and the adjoining provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bucalan, collectively referred to as NCR Plus, had just been allowed to resume religious gatherings but only up to 30 percent occupancy of their venues, says Malacañang on Friday.

According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the easing of restriction also applies to other areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions” until May 31.

According to the Metro Manila Council, mayors of NCR (National Capital Region) will allow religious gatherings at 30 percent venue capacity,” Roque said in a mix of English and Tagalog.

Interestingly, Roque said that it is still up to the mayors to decide what specific venue capacity limitation, adding that it could be less even as he claimed that the 30-percent capacity is just the maximum.

Previously, religious gatherings in the NCR Plus have been capped at 10 percent of a venue’s capacity.

The restrictions were eased amid a gradual decrease in new COVID-19 cases reported daily. However, these numbers are still far from the pre-surge levels of around 2,000 cases reported per day. Current numbers hover in the 5,000s. After days of new cases staying below the 5,000 mark, reported infections rose to 6,100 on Thursday, May 20.

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