Metro Manila LGUs to ban entry of unvaccinated in malls, public transport under Alert Level 3

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 3) — All local governments in the capital region are set to prohibit the entry of unvaccinated adults and minors in malls, restaurants, and public transport for as long as the region remains under Alert Level 3, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Monday.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said all Metro Manila mayors have "agreed in principle" that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals must remain in their homes except for essential trips under Alert Level 3 or higher. They will also be banned from indoor and al fresco dining, hotels, and country clubs.

He said individuals must present their vaccination cards and identification cards upon entry in establishments.

"Para kang nag-ECQ only for the unvaccinated... Ito ay temporary lamang, ito ay habang nasa Alert Level 3 tayo para maproteksyunan din ang walang bakuna," he said in a media briefing.

[Translation: It's like an enhanced community quarantine for the unvaccinated. It will be enforced while we are under Alert Level 3 to protect the unvaccinated.]

MMDA General Manager Don Artes also said the agency is formulating a system for random checking of vaccination cards, after they received reports of fake cards presented in establishments.

"We're making arrangements with DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) and every local government unit in National Capital Region for us to have a cross-referencing in checking whether or not the vaccination card presented is not fake," Artes told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Ngayon.

Artes reminded people that those caught presenting fake vaccination cards are liable under Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases Law with a fine of ₱20,000 to ₱50,000 or imprisonment of one to six months, or both.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said additional restrictions will be enforced in the city beginning Monday.

Abalos explained the MMDA is still finalizing the list of new restrictions, but it is giving a heads up so local government units can prepare for the implementation. He added other local governments are set to issue ordinances.

Independent COVID-19 monitoring group OCTA Research said the infection rate in Metro Manila is now faster than the Delta surge, adding coronavirus infections could even reach 15,000 case per day — way up from the record 9,000.