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What We Know About Being on “Enhanced Community Quarantine”

“It means absolute lockdown or total lockdown,” says Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

On the first working Monday of Metro Manila’s community quarantine as the government seeks to contain the cases of COVID-19 in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the entirety of Luzon is now on “enhanced community quarantine.”

On Thursday last week, he placed Metro Manila under a “general community quarantine.” That meant that travel to and from Metro Manila was restricted. Those who lived outside of the National Capital Region but worked in it were required to show identification at checkpoints. 

According to the memorandum released on March 13, “general community quarantine” is defined as a quarantine “where movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work,” and “uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points.”

This kind of quarantine was first implemented on March 15, beginning at 12 a.m. 

Less than 24 hours later, all of Luzon has now been placed under “enhanced community quarantine.” 

In an interview with ANC this afternoon, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said that “it means absolute lockdown or total lockdown. It means that all persons will be subjected to strict home quarantine, no movement and no transportation.” 

This evening, President Duterte gave a press conference detailing what’s to happen under this kind of quarantine that covers all of Luzon. 

Here’s what the most recent memorandum details. 

What does “enhanced community quarantine” entail?

According to a Palace memo issued last Saturday, enhanced community quarantine is characterized by:

1. Strict home quarantine in all households,

2. Suspended transportation lines,

3. Regulated provision for food and essential health services, and 

4. Heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented.

What else is there to know about this new development? 

Movement will only be allowed if you’re stepping outside to access basic necessities or going to work. Otherwise, stay at home. 

Private establishments such as restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, hospitals, and drug stores will remain open, with strict social distancing rules to be observed. Banks and utility services—such as power, water, and telecommunications—will remain open as well.

Mass public transport facilities will be suspended. This includes trains, buses, and jeepneys. 

Land, air, and sea travel will be restricted. Those departing the country will be allowed to travel 72 hours from the effectivity of the enhanced community quarantine. 

Cargoes within, to, and from Luzon will continue to operate

This will take effect on March 17, starting at 12 a.m. and will last until April 13 at 12 a.m. 

There are currently 142 COVID-19 cases in the country, including 12 fatalities.

Lead photo from Unsplash