Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Philippines implementing measures of varying degrees nationwide through June 15 due to COVID-19. Restrictions revised in some locations.
This alert affects Philippines
This alert began 01 Jun 2020 07:50 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport and business disruptions; heightened security
Authorities continue to implement varying restrictions nationwide through at least June 15 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). On May 30, officials revised community quarantine restrictions for several localities, including provinces and cities in the Visayas region. The country remains under Code Red Sublevel 2 on the coronavirus code alert system, indicating ongoing local transmission of the virus with greater numbers of cases than the government can address.
Several locations are implementing the general community quarantine (GCQ) through June 15. In areas enacting GCQ, residents can move within barangays with no COVID-19 cases, for work, essential, and emergency purposes. Most companies can operate with safe distancing protocols in place, though facilities like gyms and entertainment venues remain closed. Public transport can operate with distancing measures in place. Public gatherings are capped at 10 people. Specific areas under general community quarantine include:
- Luzon region: Metro Manila, Pateros municipality, Albay, Aurora, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Bulacan, Cagayan, Cavite, Isabela, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Quirino, Rizal, Tarlac, and Zambales provinces and Angeles, Lucena, Olongapo, and Santiago cities
- Mindanao region: Davao and Zamboanga cities
- Visayas region: Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor provinces and Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue cities
All other localities are enacting the less strict modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) through June 15. Residents in MGCQ areas are no longer subject to stay-at-home orders. Public places, such as eating establishments, gyms, hotels, and hair salons, can operate at 50-percent capacity. Mass gatherings can occur as long as the participant numbers are less than half the venue's seating capacity. Directives regarding social distancing and other health protocols are still in effect.
No province or city is now implementing the more stringent enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). Provincial and municipal authorities may appeal to the central government to implement stricter or less stringent measures. Officials may also enact more stringent restrictions in localized areas with significant COVID-19 activity.
All visas, including previously issued documents and visa-free privileges, remain suspended, effectively banning foreigners from entering the Philippines. Exemptions are in place for foreign spouses and children of Philippine citizens, diplomatic staff and dependents, and visa holders already in the country. Arriving travelers must undergo a two-week quarantine at government-designated facilities. Philippine citizens remain prohibited from leaving the country, with exceptions for Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and uniformed personnel on official duty.
Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.