Religious gatherings banned again in GCQ areas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 1) — Religious gatherings are no longer allowed in areas placed under the general community quarantine following several complaints, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Friday.

The revision comes a day after Roque announced that the national government would allow church activities and essential work-related meetings in cities and provinces with low- to moderate-risk of COVID-19 spread.

He said local officials of areas under GCQ protested the initial decision made by the Inter-Agency Task Force and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Nagkaroon po ng malawakang protesta ang lokal na pamahalaan. Ang sabi po nila, hindi mapapatupad yan dahil hindi naman mapapasok ang mga simbahan," he told CNN Philippines. 

[Translation: Local government units protested. They said they cannot implement health standards in these gatherings because authorities cannot storm churches.]

GCQ is implemented in all parts of the country except for National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Central Luzon except for Aurora, Pangasinan, Benguet, including Baguio City, Iloilo, Cebu, including Cebu City, Bacolod City, and Davao City. This will last until May 15.