Indoor social gatherings in Baguio City now need mayor's approval

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 20) — The local government of Baguio City is now requiring a mayor's approval prior to holding private gatherings to prevent the further increase of COVID-19 cases in the country's summer capital.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong signed Executive Order no. 171, which contains guidelines in holding social gatherings as well as the sale and consumption of liquor in the city. These shall be observed from Nov. 20 until Dec. 4, it said.

This is to address the increasing COVID-19 infections in the city, which is now at 2,845, with 706 active cases based on the latest data from the Department of Health.

Under the directive, private social gatherings like birthdays, weddings, and family events, to be held in venues such as hotels and conference halls will still be allowed, but the venue will be inspected by the City Health Services Office and an approval from the City Mayor's Office must be secured first.

If these events will be held at home, barangay officials must be informed.

The local government is also encouraging that attendees should be limited to immediate family members who do not have underlying health condition. Minimum health standards must also be observed in both scenarios.

Meanwhile, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages is also prohibited from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. the next day, while consumption of such products in public areas, aside from accredited establishments, is also banned during the same period.

Serving of liquor drinks is allowed in accredited dine-in establishments within their operating hours, provided that a maximum of 4 individual servings will be served for beer and wine, while for distilled spirits, a maximum of 2 bottles is allowed if beverage is one liter or less, and 1 bottle if beverage is more than a liter.

Managers should ensure that public health standards are being followed.

Local authorities have also issued an advisory that temporarily imposes travel restrictions between Baguio City and the municipalities of La Trinidad, Tuba, Tublay, and Sablan.

But La Trinidad -- in its own resolution, is asking Magalong to lift the temporary travel restriction imposed on their residents due to concerns over public transportation, movement of goods, and medical requirements to name a few.