NCR placed under modified enhanced community quarantine
Metro Manila, which accounts for 62% of all COVID-19 cases in the country, will be on modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 31. Under the MECQ, physical classes are still suspended and transportation will be limited. Moreover, the MECQ differs from the ECQ in the following ways:
• Industries will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity but are required to follow safety measures and proper social distancing.
• Industries that are allowed to operate are limited.
• In terms of public transportation, services will be limited. Only public shuttles will be allowed.
• There will still be no domestic flights in airports, but limited international flights will be allowed.
• Inbound travels will be controlled.
• For private vehicles, company shuttles, personal vehicles, bicycles, motorcycles, and e-scooters are allowed as long as safety protocols are followed.
• Mass gatherings are restricted to a maximum of five persons only.
• Government work can operate on skeletal workforce; others can work from home.
• Local government units can also identify barangays with high COVID-19 cases in their area that can remain under ECQ.
Local government units can also identify barangays with high COVID-19 cases in their area that can remain under ECQ. Cash aid will be given to families in areas under ECQ only.
NAIA arrivals require COVID-19 test
Arriving passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing and quarantine when flights resume after the ECQ. The tests will be conducted using polymerase chain reaction technology (PCR), which is found to be the most conclusive in COVID-19 detection. Arrivals who will be tested will be capped to 400 per day.
To handle the surge in testing and quarantine, various quarantine facilities were assigned to accommodate patients. Several public facilities such as the World Trade Center and the Philippine International Convention Center were transformed into COVID-19 treatment and quarantine centers by the government .
Free Wi-Fi accessible in quarantine centers
Quarantine centers in Metro Manila and other provinces will now have access to free Wi-Fi. Initiated by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Wi-Fi spots were set up at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC), the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) in Pasay City . According to DICT, the free internet connection will be helpful to health workers when it comes to submitting reports. Frontliners and patients can also use the Wi-Fi to keep in touch with their loved ones.
Wi-Fi services will also be offered in the following quarantine centers outside Metro Manila: Dagupan City Astrodome in Pangasinan; New Clark City – Athletes Village in Capas, Tarlac; City Rest Drive Inn in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; Sacred Heart School for Boys in Cebu City; and Ateneo de Zamboanga – Lantaka Campus in Zamboanga City.