Are quarantine passes needed in areas under one-week ECQ?

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 27) — Metro Manila and four nearby provinces will revert to enhanced community quarantine for a week. Will this mean the return of quarantine passes amid strict stay-at-home orders as well?

When ECQ was imposed in Luzon from mid-March to mid-May last year, people had to present quarantine passes to be able to enter groceries and other establishments.

When asked if these barangay-issued slips will again be required in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal during the March 29 to April 4 ECQ period, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque admitted new passes may not be produced given the limited time.

"Ang problema po kasi isang lingo lang itong ating ECQ so hindi ko po alam kung sapat ang panahon para mag issue uli ng quarantine passes," Roque said in an online media briefing on Saturday.

[Translation: The problem is this ECQ is just for a week so I do not know if there's enough time to again issue quarantine passes.]

"Kung meron naman po kayong quarantine pass na naitago siguro dalhin niyo na rin po. Kung wala naman po, magbigay na lang ng eksplanasyon na bibili lang ng pagkain o ng gamot," Roque added.

[Translation: If you kept old quarantine passes, maybe you should just bring them too. If you have none, just give an explanation that you're out to get food or medicine.]

Under ECQ, people are only allowed to leave their homes to access essential goods or services, or to go to work in industries that are allowed to operate. The government has tightened restrictions in the Greater Manila area amid the surge in COVID-19 infections, with active cases hitting another record high 118,122 on Saturday.