EXPLAINER: Metro Manila lockdown: What you need to know

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 5) — Metro Manila will be reverting to a hard lockdown again this August 6 to 20 as it grapples with yet another surge in COVID-19 infections, this time said to be driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

CNN Philippines lists what residents and workers in the National Capital Region need to keep in mind with its return to enhanced community quarantine.

Which establishments are prohibited from operating?

Entertainment and recreational venues are not allowed to operate under ECQ, according to government guidelines. Amusement parks and playgrounds, cockpit arenas and lotteries must also go dark during the period.

Indoor sports courts and venues, along with tourist attractions — both indoor and outdoor — are also prohibited from operating. Both personal care services and venues for meetings, conferences and exhibitions must likewise close down under ECQ.

Who are allowed outside of their homes?

The return of ECQ also means the return of APORs, or authorized persons outside of residence. For this lockdown, these three main APOR groups are allowed to go outside: workers in essential establishments or activities, residents buying essential goods or services, and individuals scheduled for COVID-19 vaccination.

APORs only need to present documents proving their status: company IDs or certificates of employment for workers, quarantine passes for those out to avail of essential items or services, and vaccine cards for those out to get their COVID-19 shots.

Vaccination is not required for APORs to be allowed outside their homes, clarified the Palace on Thursday. 

READ: LIST: Metro Manila cities requiring quarantine passes for August ECQ

What modes of travel are available?

Public transport will remain operational under ECQ, the Department of Transportation assured. However, only APORs will be allowed on these rides.

Public utility vehicles like buses and jeepneys will be allowed to operate at a maximum 50% capacity during the period. UV Express units, and taxis along with transport network vehicle services and motorcycle taxis will also be permitted on the road.

Train systems will also be allowed to operate, with marshals inside the trains. Trains will be disinfected after every loop. 

Air and sea travel are likewise allowed under ECQ, subject to the travel restrictions imposed by the receiving local government unit or the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Private transportation is also allowed, according to the DOTr. Active transportation is likewise encouraged. 

Worker APORs may likewise be transported by non-APORs provided these workers present certification from their employers. 

Will vaccination proceed under ECQ?

It’s all systems go for vaccination under the hard lockdown, authorities confirm, noting the two-week period will even be used to ramp up inoculations against COVID-19.

Senior citizens and people with comorbidities are allowed to receive their shots without prior appointments in areas under ECQ, according to the National Vaccination Operations Center.

Sila po ay pwedeng may kasama na driver. Ia-allow po ‘yun dahil sila naman ay ihahatid at ganoon din, pagbalik is kasama sila,” said Philippine National Police chief PGEN Guillermo Eleazar on vaccinees being transported to and from vaccination sites in areas under ECQ.

[Translation: They may be accompanied by a driver. That will be allowed since they will be dropped (to the vaccination center) and fetched.]

How much aid will be given to Metro Manila residents?

Residents in areas under enhanced community quarantine such as Metro Manila will receive ₱1,000 each in cash assistance, or a maximum of ₱4,000 per household during the period.

The Palace also emphasized that vaccination is not a prerequisite to receiving financial aid under lockdown.

Displaced workers shall also be receiving assistance from the Labor Department through its Tulong Panghanap-Buhay Para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.