MALACAÑANG has announced new community quarantine classifications for two areas down south – Zamboanga City in Mindanao and Tacloban City in the Visayas.
In an announcement, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that Zamboanga City had just been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine, the second most stringent lockdown level in the country until May 14.
Aside from Tacloban City, Roque also hinted at a new lockdown status for Tacloban City, which had just been reverted under the relaxed modified general community quarantine classification until the end of the month.
Citing a consensus reached by the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Roque said that individuals ages 15 to 17 years old and above 65 years old are allowed to leave their residence to register for the Philippine Identification System.
The IATF also approved protocols for all inbound travelers to the Philippines, regardless of vaccination status, in all ports of entry, which include a 14-day quarantine to all arriving travelers. The first ten days of which shall be spent in a quarantine facility, with the remainder shall be completed under home quarantine in their respective local government units of destination.
All arriving travelers shall likewise undergo a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing on the 7th day; and notwithstanding a negative test result, they shall complete the 10-day facility-based quarantine period, under the strict symptom monitoring of the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).
To operationalize these protocols, the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the BOQ, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) have been directed to issue advisories for widest dissemination regarding current testing and quarantine protocols.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) shall lead the establishment of a “One Hotel Command,” together with other agencies, to immediately and efficiently address concerns of those undergoing facility-based quarantine.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), through the Philippine National Police (PNP), shall augment the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in providing security in quarantine facilities.
The DOH shall coordinate with the OWWA, the DOTr, the DOT, the BOQ, and the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health to enhance current symptom tracking mechanisms and provide additional personnel to process and act on symptom tracking information.
The DOTr shall ascertain that swabbing will be done at exactly the 7th day and results delivered on the 9th day. Day of release from the quarantine facility shall be standardized on the 10th day.
Swabbers, on the other hand, shall continue the practice of double swabbing on the 7th day in case necessary for whole genome sequencing.
Meanwhile, the IATF approved the request of the Samahan Basketbol ng Pilipinas to host the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Cup Qualifiers in June 2021 under a “bubble-type” setting in Clark, Pampanga, subject to health and safety protocols.
Also allowed is the conduct of scrimmages and practice of the Philippine Basketball Association in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and MGCQ, subject to proper health and safety protocols.
The IATF likewise approved the conduct of horse-racing activities in areas under MECQ under a no-audience set up. In addition, only online and TeleBet activities in NCR Plus may operate. Off-tracking betting stations, on the other hand, may resume operations during GCQ or MGCQ. The IATF further approved and adopted the Guidelines on Point-to-Point Air Travel for Leisure Purposes from the NCR Plus Areas of the DOT.