As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has implemented various levels of community quarantines across different cities and provinces. The level of quarantine implemented in a specific area is based on how likely it is for the virus to be transmitted within the community.
The different levels of community quarantines have different rules and restrictions, all of which are outlined in the IATF’s “Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines.” We’ve listed below all of the important differences between each level so that you’ll know which guidelines apply to your destination.
Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)
- Only businesses classified as “essential services” are allowed to operate, such as health centers, groceries, utility companies, and banks. Establishments such as malls, gyms, and salons are not allowed to operate while the area is under ECQ.
- Restaurants cannot accept dine-in customers. However, they can still accept take-out and delivery orders.
- Checkpoints will be implemented across ECQ areas, and individuals passing through these checkpoints need to present proper identification and proof that allows them to travel.
- Hotels and accommodation establishments are also not allowed to operate and accept any guests, unless the guest has an existing long-term booking.
- All mass gatherings such as movie screenings, sporting events, and other entertainment activities, as well as religious gatherings, are prohibited.
Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)
- Malls and shopping centers are allowed to operate at a limited capacity. However, the only establishments within these malls that can operate are those that provide essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and banks.
- Tourist destinations, entertainment centers, wellness facilities (e.g., gyms), and personal care services (e.g., salons) are not allowed to operate under MECQ.
Restaurants are still not allowed to accept dine-in customers, but can continue to process take-out and delivery orders.
- Hotels and accommodation establishments are still not allowed to accept guests.
- All types of mass gatherings are still prohibited.
General Community Quarantine (GCQ)
- Restaurants can now accept dine-in customers, but they are only allowed to operate at a given capacity.
- Public transportation is operational, but they are required to keep passengers at a 1-meter distance from each other. They are also only allowed to operate at a limited capacity.
- Malls and shopping centers are still only allowed to operate at a limited capacity.
- Tourist attractions are allowed to operate at a limited capacity.
Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ)
- Dine-in restaurants, tourist destinations, entertainment centers, wellness facilities, and personal care services are all allowed to operate at a given capacity.
- Hotels and accommodation establishments can also operate at a given capacity, but they can only do so if they have the proper accreditation and certification from the Department of Tourism.
- Public transportation must still follow physical distancing guidelines.
- Tourist attractions are allowed to operate at a given capacity.