A few changes were made in the guidelines implemented in the area.
Image: Subic Bay Freeport Zone Facebook Page
Subic is one of the areas in Luzon under modified enhanced community quarantine
(MECQ). Compared to the enhanced community quarantine ECQ, the MECQ has more relaxed rules and regulations. Under this new quarantine status in Subic
, residents are allowed to go out of their homes to do physical activities and workers can report back to the office again.
The shift from ECQ to MECQ is not as easy as it looks, for this quarantine status allows more people to leave the safety of their homes, hence increasing the risk of getting infected. As a response, Subic Bay Freeport Zone has adjusted some of its guidelines, besides setting out mass testing facilities and carrying out mass testing for its residents. Everyone slowly adapts to the new quarantine status in Subic
, and here are five ways in which authorities try to ensure safety for everyone.
1. Entry of people and vehicles are controlled.
Controlling the entry and exit is one way of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the area.
Subic is strict when it comes to the entry and exit of people and vehicles in the area. Entry and exit is limited to those on duty at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and officers and employees of companies, institutions, or establishments in the Freeport Zone that are allowed to operate. These people must present an SBMA ID or SBMA Temporary Pass upon entering. Also allowed inside are people involved in the provision of essential goods, services, and public utilities as well as frontliners such as medical professionals and health workers on duty, going to duty, or coming from duty; Freeport residents; and people seeking emergency medical treatment.
2. Freeport Gate restrictions are implemented.
Everyone has to wear face masks.
Although this new form of quarantine is more relaxed than the ECQ, strict safety protocols are still observed at the Freeport gates. Anyone who is entering the gates must follow precautionary measures including wearing face masks, passing through the SBMA disinfection booth and/or foot bath, taking and passing a temperature scan, and observing social distancing of at least 1 meter. They must also present a SBMA ID, SBMA Temporary Pass, or any other justifying documentation. People and vehicles with no other purpose than to exit another freeport gate are prohibited to pass through. However, medical professionals, health workers, and emergency response vehicles responding to an actual emergency are exempted from this rule.
3. Relaxed curfew hours are imposed.
Residents are still encouraged to make the area a safer place by staying at home.
Like most places under MECQ, Subic also follows an imposed curfew. From 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM, people must stay in their homes to ensure everyone’s safety. The only exception to the curfew are SBMA Port Facilities where port and logistics operations are allowed 24/7. Those with no official business are not allowed to enter or stay in the port facilities. If they need to go out, residents must bring their SBMA Quarantine Pass with them. When it comes to buying retail or food, the quarantine pass together with the SBMA ID shall be required.
4. Only limited outdoor activities are allowed.
Stay healthy inside and out!
At a time like this, keeping the immune system strong and healthy is more important than ever. This is why under the MECQ, exercising outdoors is now being allowed. Exercises such as walking, jogging, running, and biking are allowed in Subic, but it shall be on an individual basis. Couples and groups of 3 or more are prohibited. A person may only be accompanied by one pet.
Wearing face masks is still a requirement while doing these activities, and social distancing of at least 2 meters must be strictly observed at all times. Residents who wish to go outside must also bring their quarantine passes and shall present it when asked by a person in authority. Note that walking, jogging, running, and biking may only be done within one’s residential area. For example, if a resident lives in the Kalayaan area, then he or she may only do these activities within the housing area of Kalayaan.
5. Businesses are allowed to operate, but safety measures must be followed.
Reopening of businesses may help the economy get back on track.
Under the MECQ, more businesses in the Freeport zone such as food, beverages, utilities, and delivery services are allowed to fully operate. This also means employees and workers may partially report back to the office, but not without observing health standards given by the Department of Health. Workers are encouraged to eat nutritious food, drink lots of water, get at least 8 hours of sleep a day, and exercise regularly.
Wearing face masks while in the workplace is also required, and these may only be removed when eating or drinking. They must also get their temperature scanned before entering the premises. Alcohols, hand sanitizers, and other disinfectants must be provided in the office. In addition to these measures, objects such as door knobs, elevator buttons, and handles must be disinfected at least every 2 hours.
The battle against COVID-19 may be far from over, but it is important to keep in mind that any challenge can be conquered as long as there is discipline and cooperation. For now, stay at home and stay safe!
Go to Yoorekka
for more useful local information during this pandemic.