Metro mayors tighten restrictions

Philstar

March 7, 2021

Curfew, quarantine pass reimposed

MANILA, Philippines — Mayors in Metro Manila have decided to tighten community quarantine restrictions in a bid to contain the rising cases of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region.

In Caloocan, residents are again required to use quarantine passes to go to the market and comply with a 10 p.m.-4 a.m. curfew.

Mayor Oscar Malapitan discussed with the barangay captains on Saturday the new quarantine guidelines, according to the city government’s public information office.

Joel Bacolod, chairman of Barangay Bagong Silang, took to Facebook to alert residents about the curfew and the use of quarantine passes.

Those going to and from work are exempted from the curfew.

Bagong Silang is the biggest barangay in Caloocan.

Bacolod said there were 348 active COVID-19 cases in the city, up from 80 cases in November last year.

The color-coded quarantine passes will again be required starting on Wednesday, Bacolod said.

Cinema, arcade  reopening suspended

Mayors were unanimous in suspending the reopening of cinemas and amusement arcades, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos announced yesterday.

Abalos said the mayors reached the decision during a Zoom meeting on Saturday.

He said the mayors would sign a resolution today, keeping these businesses closed.

The reopening of cinemas and arcades was first proposed last month.

“The surge in the number of COVID-19 cases is quite alarming,” Abalos said.

He underscored the need to observe health protocols such as wearing of face masks, shields and physical distancing.

He said stricter contact tracing is also needed to stop the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Department of Health recorded a new high of 3,439 COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

The OCTA Research Group has also warned the public that COVID-19 infections would increase in Metro Manila, possibly due to the emergence of virus variants.

“We have to contain the surge in COVID-19 cases,” Malabon Mayor Antolin Oreta III said.

Oreta said the mayors agreed to defer the opening of cinemas because the region is “porous” or borderless.

Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian said cinemas and arcades would remain closed in the city “amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and the existence of new virus strains in the country.”

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