Beginning March 15, We Can’t Go to the Movies in Metro Manila

What ‘Stringent Social Distancing’ and ‘Community Quarantine' Mean

The Inter-Agency Talk Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infection Disease has come up with a resolution on recommendations to manage the COVID-19 situation in Metro Manila. This includes the imposition of stringent social distancing measures and the implementing of general community quarantine beginning at midnight, March 15, 2020. Here’s what this means.

Stringent Social Distancing

Classes and all school activities shall remain suspended until April 14, 2020.

No movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities.

Important work meetings and religious activities may continue, as long as we sit at least a meter from our companions. The Archdiocese of Manila (covering Manila, Makati, Pasay, San Juan, and Mandaluyong), and the Dioceses of Cubao and Pasig have already suspended all masses from March 14 to 20.

For those who must report to the office, we must sit at least one meter away from our nearest colleagues.


General Community Quarantine

Travel in and out of Metro Manila is only for work or to buy basic necessities. Proof of employment must be submitted to quarantine officials stationed at the borders.

Senior citizens, pregnant women, and other high-risk individuals cannot enter Metro Manila, except those who need medical care, health workers, government officials.

No one is allowed to leave the city, except health workers authorized government officials, and those traveling for medical reasons.

Private companies are encouraged to come up with alternative working arrangements, such as working from home, a compressed work week, staggered working hours, and skeletal work hours.

People departing on international flights shall be allowed to transit through Metro Manila, but passengers must show confirmed plane tickets that show departure within 12 hours.


Cargo shall be allowed to and from Metro Manila, which includes livestock and other fresh produce, as well as basic necessities.

In related news, the Metro Manila Council has unanimously passed a resolution to impose curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. begining at midnight on March 15.

The MMDA has also requested that malls be closed temporarily. While there has yet to be a decision on that, Ayala Malls and Robinsons Malls have already announced shortened hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m starting tonight, March 14. SM will have similar mall hours beginning March 15.

Supermarkets, grocery stories, pharmacies, and banks will remain open.

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Yvette Fernandez
Yvette Fernandez is the Chief Storyteller of the Gokongwei Group. Previously, she was the editorial director of Esquire Philippines.
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