MANILA, Philippines – The National Capital Region (NCR) will remain under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) as the pilot test for the proposed granular lockdown has been deferred, Malacañang announced Tuesday.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) postponed the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns with alert levels system in the NCR which was supposed to start on Wednesday, Sept. 8.
Roque did not state any reason for its deferment.
The government earlier announced that the NCR will shift to general community quarantine (GCQ) from Sept. 8 to 30. During this period, the pilot test for localized lockdowns in the region would also be enforced.
Roque, however, said the guidelines for this system has yet to be approved and released by the IATF.
“Metro Manila’s current risk classification as modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) shall be maintained until September 15, 2021, or until the pilot GCQ with Alert Level System is implemented, whichever comes first,” he said.
With the MECQ maintained over the NCR, Roque said that indoor and al-fresco dine-in services, and personal care services including beauty salons, beauty parlors and nail spas shall remain prohibited.
Religious services, on the other hand, performed through online video recording and transmission shall be allowed.
Meanwhile, immediate family members are allowed to attend necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals as long as the deceased died of non-COVID-19 causes.
“However, they need to show satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and have to comply with the minimum public health standards,” Roque said.
As opposed to region-wide restrictions, granular lockdown seeks to enforce mobility limitations only on specific areas tagged as COVID-19 hotspots.
The move aims to help the country’s economy recover from the impact of the pandemic-induced restrictions by allowing business establishments in areas with low infection rate to resume operations.