Metro Manila to Shut Down for 30 Days: No Travel In or Out By Air, Sea, and Land
After hours of deliberation, the government has come to a decision.
President Rodrigo Duterte has officially announced that the National Capital Region will be placed under “community quarantine” for 30 days from March 15 to April 14 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Duterte also declared that the country is now under Code Red Sublevel 2.
However, the president urges the public, “Do not panic.”
“[COVID-19] is a serious one,” said Duterte, “But do not kill yourself with worry, because the government is doing everything possible to make it controllable. But if you don’t cooperate, the problem will start and end with you.”
Acknowledging COVID-19’s spread throughout the country and the lack of cure, Duterte noted that the public must listen to medical experts, doctors, and the Department of Health, adding that he and the military are following the lead of the health sector.
The announcement took place at Malacanang Palace at 9 p.m., 2.5 hours after the scheduled 6:30 p.m. press conference, after the president received the community quarantine recommendation from the Inter-Agency Task Force For the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).
The resolution submitted by IATF was signed by Duterte, however the president noted that he might turn the resolution into an executive order.
'Community Quarantine,' Suspensions
Under Code Red Sublevel 2, mass gatherings, work, and classes will continue to be suspended until April 12.
Classes will be suspended, mass gatherings will be strictly prohibited, and employers are highly encouraged to discuss flexible working hours and conditions with employees.
The Department of Transportation will continue to operate the PNR, LRT, and MRT lines while following the necessary “social distancing” guidelines.
With all of Metro Manila under “community quarantine,” NCR residents are required to stay indoors and only leave their homes if absolutely necessary. Classes and work commitments can continue online in order to abide by the guidelines of social distancing.
Banned Domestic Travel
Tourism and transportation will continue to bear the brunt of COVID-19’s impact as Duterte has also declared the shutdown of domestic air, sea, and land travel leaving or entering Metro Manila for 30 days starting March 15 to April 14.
All individuals will have until March 15 to either enter or leave Metro Manila, depending on where they plan to stay for the 30-day lockdown.
Outside Metro Manila
In the provinces outside Metro Manila, barangay-, city-, municipality-, and province-wide quarantines will be implemented by local government units as necessary, depending on the amount of confirmed cases in each area.
The announcement of Code Red Sublevel 2 comes five days after the Department of Health declared Code Red on March 7 and after Duterte declared a State of Public Health Emergency on March 8.
With the official declaration of the World Health Organization characterizing COVID-19 as a “pandemic,” these extreme measures are intended to contain the pandemic to avoid reaching the outbreak levels of Italy, South Korea, Japan, and the U.S.