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IATF: Religious Gatherings Now Allowed Under GCQ Areas

The order and the approved resolution on Mass celebrations will take effect on July 10.

Religious gatherings are now allowed to resume but only on a 10% capacity in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the order and the approved resolution will take effect on July 10. (Read: ‘Strict social distancing’ shall be observed during Mass – CBCP)

“Para naman po sa talagang gusto nang magsimba, pinayagan din po ang religious gatherings pero hanggang 10 percent lang po,” Roque said.

The 10% capacity is to allow strict social distancing while still freely observing religious practices. The public is also reminded to still wear face masks when going to church. (Read: Churchgoers can expect smaller Masses under the new normal)

Quarantine Protocols

Catholic faithful observe safety guidelines while receiving communion during a Mass at Santa Cruz Church in Manila last June 1, 2020. (Photo from ABS-CBN News)

Last month, the IATF-EID has allowed religious services at 50% of the seating capacity in places under MGCQ. It comes as the more relaxed quarantine protocols in June allowed more industries to reopen and enable the country to recover from the economic and social crises brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Read: What businesses will be allowed to reopen in GCQ areas?)

Metro Manila, Benguet, Cavite, Rizal, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Ormoc, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Cebu’s Talisay City, Minglanilla, and Consolacion are now under GCQ. Meanwhile, MGCQ “with strict local action” was imposed in Abra, Baguio City, Ifugao, Kalinga, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Angeles City, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Lucena City, Palawan, Puerto Princesa City, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, and Naga City.

Likewise, Capiz, Iloilo City, Negros Occidental, Bacolod City, Cebu province, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Tacloban City, Western Samar, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental Misamis Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao City, Davao de Oro, Cotabato, South Cotabato, Agusan del Norte, Butuan City, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Cagayan de Oro are also under stricter MGCQ.

Cebu City, on the other hand, was placed under enhanced community quarantine until July 15 to contain the continuing increase of COVID-19 infections in the area. (Read: What is the difference between MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ?)

Police personnel continues to man the checkpoint in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City. (Photos from Gerard Vincent Francisco / CDN and Driftwood Journeys)

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