COVID-19

Persons aged 10 to 65 can go out in MGCQ areas starting February

Pia Ranada
Persons aged 10 to 65 can go out in MGCQ areas starting February

NEW RULE. The government hopes easing age-based restrictions will help malls and restaurants recover.

File photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

The government eases age-based restrictions after the trade department says it would help malls and restaurants recover

The Duterte administration’s pandemic task force is allowing kids 10 years and older, and elderly people 65 and younger, to step outside their homes starting on February 1.

This was announced by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, also task force spokesman, on Friday, January 22.

The rule is set for areas under the lowest quarantine restriction, modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

For general community quarantine (GCQ) areas, including Metro Manila, mayors will have to decide whether to adopt the relaxed rules. However, Roque said the task force “enjoins” local government units to adopt the new policy.

With the exception of Metro Manila, Davao City, and 7 other areas that are under GCQ until January 31, the rest of the country is under MGCQ. The task force is yet to announce the quarantine classifications of cities and provinces for the month of February.

The relaxed age-based restrictions mean that only children below 10 years old and the elderly who are older than 65 are required to stay at home at all times, except for essential activities like exercise and medical care.

For economic recovery

It was the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Economic Development Authority which called for the government to allow children to go out in a bid to increase economic activity.

Kung tayo po ay nagnanais makabalik at makarecover ang ating ekonomiya, kailangan talagang dahan-dahanin din natin ang pagluwag pagdating sa age restriction,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez had said last Friday, January 15 in a Laging Handa press briefing.

(If we want to get back to normal and see economic recovery, we need to gradually loosen the age restrictions.)

Malls and restaurants are particularly hit by the rule barring kids from going out, said Lopez. He expressed confidence that kids aged 10 to 14 would be able to wear masks and comply with physical distancing. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.