Gyms, internet cafes not allowed under ‘stricter’ GCQ

Pia Ranada
Malacañang presents a list of establishments prohibited during the 'GCQ with heightened restrictions' in Metro Manila and nearby areas

Malacañang clarified that gyms, swimming pools, libraries, indoor tourist destinations, and venues for holding conferences are not allowed under the new “general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions” that is in place until May 31 in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque flashed a list of these still-prohibited establishments on Monday, May 17, during a Palace news briefing.

Below is the list shown by Roque.

Not allowed under stricter GCQ:
  • Indoor non-contact sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas, or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools
  • Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits
  • Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions
  • Entertainment venues (bars, concert halls, theaters)
  • Recreational venues (internet cafes, billiards halls, arcades, amusement parks, fairs, playgrounds, kiddie rides, indoor sports courts and venues, and indoor tourist attractions)

Most of these establishments had been allowed, in varying capacities, in the GCQ that had been enforced before the “NCR Plus” bubble concept that began on March 22 and was followed by enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ (MECQ).

Roque said this new stricter version of GCQ was introduced so that “we can sustain the gains” of the weeks of ECQ and MECQ.

These weeks of stricter quarantine measures led to a downward trend in new COVID-19 cases reported daily. However, new daily case counts have hovered in the 5,000s and 6,000s in the past 5 days. –

Pia Ranada

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