Quezon City

Quezon City orders closure of gyms, liquor ban from March 15 to 31

Michael Bueza

LIQUOR BAN. A sign indicating a liquor ban is displayed at a store with alcoholic drinks, March 31, 2020.

File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

The Quezon City government notes there was a 'serious outbreak' of COVID-19 at one gym

After a “serious outbreak” of COVID-19 at one gym, the Quezon City government ordered the closure of all gyms, spas, and internet cafes in the city from March 15 to 31.

The gym where the outbreak hit was not identified.

The shutdown is among the emergency measures announced by the city government on Sunday, March 14, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The measures also include the reimplementation of a liquor ban for the remaining two weeks of March. All retail sales of alcoholic beverages will be suspended.

“The drastic increase of cases is very alarming. We want to stop the transmission as early as now so that we no longer have to implement another nationwide lockdown,” said Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte in the city government’s statement.

On Saturday, March 13, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 433 new cases in Quezon City, bringing the total number of cases there to 47,767. Of the total, 4,554 are active cases. This makes it the city with the most number of total cases and active cases in the country.

Meanwhile, the Quezon City government itself reported only 35,878 total cases as of Sunday morning, of which 2,991 are active.

Other guidelines

The city reminded residents about the “public safety hours” of 10 pm to 5 am. This is aligned with the curfew imposed in the entire Metro Manila starting Monday, March 15.

The Quezon City government also told the public to strictly comply with health protocols, especially in workplaces. The use of the Kyusi Pass digital contact tracing app is also mandatory in business establishments in the city.

Barangays in the city were given the discretion to issue quarantine passes once again, but barangays may not close down any establishment without the city’s approval.

Meanwhile, returning overseas Filipinos (OFs) staying in hotels and other accommodation establishments in the city “must report to the Office of the City Administrator for documentation and monitoring, and for guidance on health, security, and logistics protocols.” All OFs must complete a 14-day quarantine “regardless of the RT-PCR test result.”

In addition, sari-sari stores and retail operations of markets, talipapas, and vending sites must close by 10 pm. The bagsakan or delivery operations may continue beyond this time.

The operation of swimming pools, including those in village clubhouses or private pools used as mini-resorts, will be suspended, except for duly authorized sports trainings.

Earlier on March 10, Belmonte had eyed more restrictions on establishments and mass gatherings.

Metro Manila is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, as the metropolis is set to mark a full year on lockdown on March 15.

Nationwide, the DOH recorded 4,899 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the Philippines’ total to 621,498. Of the total cases, 48,157 are active. – Rappler.com

Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.