CAR implements stricter border control amid COVID-19 UK variant

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 27, 2021   •   554

BAGUIO, Philippines—The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) has been placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) beginning February 1 amid confirmed cases of the new coronavirus variant in Mountain Province.

In an advisory, the Baguio City local government also announced the implementation of stricter border protocols in Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) from February 1 to 15, 2021.

ADVISORY Temporary Restricted Access between and among Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) …

Posted by Public Information Office – City of Baguio on Tuesday, January 26, 2021

All travelers shall present medical certificates/medical clearance issued by any licensed physician stating that the resident has not exhibited flu-like symptoms as of the time of assessment.

Meanwhile, those with immediate medical emergencies shall be allowed to pass through freely. Cargo and logistics services; utilities for water, electricity, telecommunications, IT and waste management shall likewise be given unhampered passage. AAC

IATF amends guidelines in NCR alert level 4 restrictions

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (AITF-MEID) has amended the guidelines for the implementation of the Alert Level 4 in the National Capital Region (NCR), Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the revised guidelines will take effect on October 1 should the pilot implementation of the alert level system be extended next month.

The new strategy is being imposed in virus hotspots in the NCR until September 30.

The amendments recently approved by the IATF include allowing individual outdoor exercises within general area of residence for persons not required to remain in their respective homes.

Authorities earlier allowed outdoor exercises for residents regardless of health and vaccination status, but they shall only be limited to moving within their village or barangay.

Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of COVID-19 deceased shall be allowed.

Attendance to these services, however, will only be limited to immediate family members, the IATF said.

All contact sports, whether indoor or outdoor, will remain prohibited. Those being conducted under a “bubble-type” setup are exempted.

Personal care establishments and home services are still not allowed. These services include aesthetic and cosmetic services or procedures, make up services, spas, reflexology, wellness, and holistic services and other similar procedures.

Positive COVID-19 antigen test results now included in case count – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The number of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 through rapid antigen tests will now be included in the Philippines’ case count, Malacañang said Friday.

In a televised briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) reached the decision during their meeting on Thursday in an aim to improve the reporting of COVID-19 cases.

“’Yan po ang ating objective para mas maging mabuti yung picture natin kung ilan ang total cases natin,” Roque said.

He, however, clarified that these tests will be subjected to confirmatory tests.

The use of antigen test is mostly effective for people who already manifested symptoms within the first five days of their onset as the viral load of the patient is at the highest during this time.

In line with this, the IATF directed the Department of Health NCR Center for Health Development to monitor and facilitate registration of facilities using rapid antigen kits.

They must also ensure that antigen line tests are collected and consolidated from health facilities, localities, as well as temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.

“Kaugnay nito, ang Department of Health NCR Center for Health Development ay inatasang mag-facilitate ng registration ng facilities na gumagamit ng rapid antigen kits,” he said.

“Augmentation of disease surveillance surveillance staff and encoders are considered to ensure that line lists are generated and submitted on a daily basis,” he added.

As of Sept. 23, the Philippines has 165,780 active COVID-19 cases based on DOH data.

Abra, Baguio City, Bohol placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions effective Sept. 24

Marje Pelayo   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The provinces of Abra and Bohol as well as Baguio City have been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from September 24 to 30.

The new quarantine classification was announced by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday (September 23) evening as approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Prior to the latest announcement, Abra and Baguio City were under GCQ while Bohol was under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Under GCQ with heightened restrictions, the following activities are allowed:

1. Indoor dining services at 20% venue or seating capacity.
2. Al-fresco or outdoor dining services at 50% venue or seating capacity.
3. Personal care service providers like beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops, and nail spas at 30% venue or seating capacity.
4. Outdoor tourist attractions at 30% venue capacity with strict adherence to minimum public health standards.
5. Business establishments with Safety Seal Certifications are allowed at an additional 10% points beyond the prescribed on-site capacity or venue capacity, whichever is applicable.
6. Religious gatherings to 10% of the venue capacity which the local government unit (LGU) may increase to 30% if needed.
7. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of the COVID-19 deceased but limited to immediate family members
8. Interzonal travel subject to restrictions of the local government unit of destination
9. Point-to-point travel to areas under GCQ and MGCQ without age restrictions subject to an RT-PCR test-before-travel requirement for those below 18 years old and above 65, and other protocols and restrictions as may be imposed by the Departmentof Tourism (DOT) and the LGU of destination.
10. Specialized markets of the Department of Tourism (DOT), such as staycations without age restrictions at such capacities, protocols and restrictions, as may be imposed by the Department

Meanwhile, activities not allowed under GCQ with heightened restrictions include:

1. Meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions events and social events in venue establishments
2. Indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions

Likewise in his statement, Roque said the province of Ilocos Norte shall be under a more relaxed risk-level classification from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to GCQ.

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