Fully-vaccinated senior citizens allowed to go out in GCQ, MGCQ areas

Fully-vaccinated elderly persons can now step out of their homes even for non-essential activities in areas that are under general community quarantine or MGCQ, Malacañang announced on Friday, June 11.

The new policy exempts fully-vaccinated senior citizens over the age of 65 from stay-at-home orders that have been in place for over a year.

"The IATF likewise allowed the movement of fully vaccinated senior citizens in areas under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine, subject to presentation of a duly issued COVID-19 vaccination card and strict observance of the minimum public health standards," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

This means that when an area is placed under the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ (MECQ), fully-vaccinated seniors must again stay at home, except if they need to go out for essential activities or emergencies.

While outside, fully-vaccinated elderly must still wear masks and face shields, observe social distancing, and avoid crowded or poorly-ventilated places.

No interzonal travel yet

However, even fully-vaccinated senior citizens cannot travel to an area under a different quarantine classification, termed as "interzonal travel" by the government.

"The movement of fully-vaccinated seniors is, however, limited to travel within their zone as interzonal travel is still prohibited, except for point-to-point travel that was previously allowed," said Roque.

This means, for example, that fully-vaccinated elderly who live in Metro Manila can take a trip to Rizal or other places in "NCR Plus" since this entire geographic area is under the same classification, GCQ.

By point-to-point travel, Roque is referring to hotels or resorts that the Department of Tourism has allowed to operate point-to-point transfers of their guests. In this scheme, resorts arrange for their guests to be directly brought to their location, thereby minimizing transmissions more likely in public modes of transportation. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.