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What is the difference between MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ?

Get to know what you are and are not allowed to do based on the quarantine imposed in your city.

Since March 15, the entire National Capital Region—all 16 cities and one municipality—has been under community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Public transportation was halted, non-essential establishments were closed, and workers were forced to adopt a work from home scheme.

The quarantine, eventually renamed as enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), was only supposed to be until April 15—a month after its imposition. However, with the still rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, the ECQ has been extended and imposed in the entire Luzon island and different regions in Visayas and Mindanao.

Now, it has been extended for a third time, up until May 31. But this time, some areas will be under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), or Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

Also Read: How do you eat healthy while in quarantine? We asked a nutritionist-dietician!

But what exactly are the differences between these types of quarantines? Here are some of the salient points of the guidelines for each type.

Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)

Photo by Oliver Marquez
  • Essential workers (doctors, nurses, grocery personnel, etc.) are allowed to go out. Non-essential workers will only be allowed to go out of their homes if they have to purchase groceries and other necessities.
  • Just like ECQ, only essential industries will be allowed to operate—groceries, health services (pharmacies, veterinary clinics), and food manufacturing/production. But the government has also allowed certain manufacturing plants to operate, given that they only allow 50% of their work force.
  • Transportation will still only be for essential workers.
  • Schools will still not be allowed to hold physical classes.

General Community Quarantine (GCQ)

Photo by Mark Cristino/EPA
  • People living in barangays with no confirmed cases will be allowed to go out for work and other necessary errands.
  • Government offices and some establishments will be allowed to resume operations, given that only 75% or less of its work force will be in the office premises.
  • Transportation services is only for government work and other allowed sectors.
  • Flexible learning arrangements may be made for students and teachers–physical classes will be regulated.

Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ)

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler
  • Movement of people goes back to normal given that the public continues to wear face masks, maintain social distancing, and other necessary health protocols will be observed.
  • Work in all sectors and schools will be allowed to resume operations at 100% capacity while making sure that health protocols will be practiced (wearing face masks, etc.).
  • Public transportation resumes and observes proper health protocols.
  • Physical classes may resume in full capacity.

You may check this link to see the areas under each type of quarantine.


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