Manila Bulletin

Quar­an­tine rules fur­ther re­laxed

15-65 years old now al­lowed to go out Non-es­sen­tial out­bound travel ap­proved Beach vol­ley­ball, off-track horse rac­ing OK’d

- By GENALYN KABILING and AR­GYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS Infectious Diseases · Health Conditions · F.C. Internazionale Milano · International Automotive Task Force · Emerging Infectious Diseases · Philippines Department of Health · Namibia · Nigeria · Philippines · Boardshorts · Swimwear · Harry Roque · New Doha International Airport · National Task Force

Af­ter be­ing on lock­down for the past sev­eral months, some se­nior and young peo­ple may now be able to leave their houses as part of the gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to re­vive the econ­omy dur­ing the coron­avirus pan­demic.

Like­wise, the In­ter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Man­age­ment of Emerg­ing In­fec­tious Dis­eases lifted the re­stric­tions of non-es­sen­tial out­bound travel for Filipinos be­gin­ning Oct. 21, and will al­low beach vol­ley­ball tour­na­ment, off-track horse rac­ing, and li­censed cock­fight­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Prior to the lat­est IATF de­ci­sion, the gov­ern­ment re­quired per­sons be­low 21 and above 60 years old to stay at home “at all times” ex­cept for es­sen­tial ac­tiv­i­ties like go­ing to work or buy­ing ne­ces­si­ties in all com­mu­nity quar­an­tine ar­eas.

“The In­ter-Agency Task Force for the Man­age­ment of Emerg­ing In­fec­tious Dis­eases (IATF-EID) on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 15, 2020, ap­proved the ad­just­ment of age-based stay-ath­ome re­stric­tions. Per­sons from 15 to 65 years of age are now al­lowed to go out,” Pres­i­den­tial spokesman Harry Roque said.

“Lo­cal gov­ern­ment units (LGUs) may im­pose a higher age limit for mi­nors, de­pend­ing on the COVID-19 sit­u­a­tion in their re­spec­tive ju­ris­dic­tions,” he added.

Un­der Res­o­lu­tion No. 79, the IATF has re­vised its guide­lines to in­clude the ad­just­ment of the stay-at-home re­stric­tion to cover those who are un­der 15 years old and those over 65 years old in all ar­eas un­der com­mu­nity quar­an­tine.

The amended guide­line now reads, “Any per­son be­low 15 years old, those who are over 65 of age, those with im­mun­od­e­fi­ciency, co­mor­bid­ity, or other health risks and preg­nant women, in­clud­ing any per­son who re­sides with the afore­men­tioned, shall be re­quired to re­main in their res­i­dences at all times, ex­cept when in­dis­pens­able un­der the cir­cum­stances for ob­tain­ing es­sen­tial goods and ser­vices, or for work in in­dus­tries and of­fices or such other ac­tiv­i­ties.”

The task force also amended the guide­lines on the age re­stric­tions for peo­ple in malls and shop­ping cen­ters. Those be­low 15 years old and above 65 may not en­ter these com­mer­cial es­tab­lish­ments ex­cept for ob­tain­ing es­sen­tial goods and ser­vices or for work, the new res­o­lu­tion read.

The gov­ern­ment re­cently agreed to fur­ther open the econ­omy and pub­lic trans­porta­tion to re­vive busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties and al­low more peo­ple to go to work. The grad­ual ex­pan­sion of the age group to go out was among the rec­om­men­da­tions made by the eco­nomic clus­ter ap­proved by Pres­i­dent Duterte and the Cabi­net dur­ing a meet­ing early this week.

Other rec­om­men­da­tions ap­proved by the Cabi­net are the open­ing of more busi­nesses, one-seat apart rule in pub­lic trans­porta­tion, mul­ti­ple work shifts to al­low the pub­lic to con­trib­ute to the econ­omy, and shorter cur­fews.

Out­bound travel

Roque also said Filipinos may be al­lowed to leave the coun­try af­ter sub­mit­ting con­firmed round-trip tick­ets and ad­e­quate travel and health in­surance for those trav­el­ing on tourist visas.

They are like­wise re­quired to ex­e­cute an im­mi­gra­tion dec­la­ra­tion ac­knowl­edg­ing the risks in­volved in trav­el­ing and a neg­a­tive anti­gen re­sult taken within 24 hours be­fore de­par­ture, sub­ject to the Depart­ment of Health (DOH) guide­lines.

Out­bound Filipino trav­el­ers shall like­wise fol­low the Guide­lines of the Na­tional Task Force (NTF) for re­turn­ing over­seas Filipinos.

Cabi­net Sec­re­tary Karlo No­grales had ear­lier said that the IATF has al­ready “ap­proved in prin­ci­ple” the eas­ing of the re­stric­tions of non-es­sen­tial out­bound travel.

Beach vol­ley­ball Ac­cord­ing to Roque, the IATF al­lowed the hold­ing of a beach vol­ley­ball tour­na­ment by the Philip­pine Su­per Liga un­der a “sports bub­ble con­cept.”

He added that the op­er­a­tion of off-track horse race bet­ting sta­tions will be al­lowed in ar­eas un­der the Gen­eral Com­mu­nity Quar­an­tine (GCQ) or lower.

Cock­pits Mean­while, cock­fight­ing en­thu­si­asts may now re­joice af­ter the IATF al­lowed the op­er­a­tion of li­censed cock­pits and the con­duct of cock­fight­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in ar­eas un­der the Mod­i­fied GCQ.

How­ever, the IATF has not al­lowed the broad­cast and on­line forms of cock­fight­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Li­censed cock­pits should like­wise se­cure the ap­proval of the LGU. Live au­di­ence is also pro­hib­ited.

“Bawal yung broad­cast at on­line na sabong at ki­nakailan­gan po may­roong pag­payag ng lokal na pama­ha­laan na siya rin pong nag su-su­per­vise ni­tong mga sabong na ito (Broad­cast and on­line forms of cock­fights are pro­hib­ited and they should have the ap­proval of the LGU which will su­per­vise these ac­tiv­i­ties),” Roque said.

“Hindi pupuwe­deng may au­di­ence ki­nakailan­gan yung mga manok at yung kani­lang mga nagha­hawak lamang ang na­roon (They are not al­lowed to have an au­di­ence. It should only be the roost­ers and the play­ers who should be there),” he added.

On Mon­day, Roque said that an IATF tech­ni­cal work­ing group has been dis­cussing whether to al­low cock­fights or not.

In July, Mala­cañang urged stake­hold­ers of on­line cock­fight­ing to ask the IATF for per­mis­sion first be­fore con­tin­u­ing with their in­no­va­tion of the clas­sic bet­ting game.

The lat­est de­ci­sion to ease move­ment re­stric­tions came as the coun­try recorded more than 340,000 cases of coron­avirus. The num­ber of peo­ple who re­cov­ered from the ill­ness soared to 294,161 while those who died reached 6,497.

The Palace pre­vi­ously re­minded se­nior cit­i­zens to stay at home as much as pos­si­ble since they are vul­ner­a­ble to the coron­avirus in­fec­tion.

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