Cebu City issues stricter MECQ guidelines
In a move that is meant to limit unnecessary travels, and ultimately reduce COVID-19 infections, the Cebu City government is re-imposing the stay at home policy — and it will be stricter this time.
Acting Mayor Michael Rama issued Executive Order No. 137, called the Oplan “Puyo” 8-15-31, which calls for the more stringent implementation of the stay at home order in the entire city, except for essential services, transactions, and authorized persons outside their residences.
The stricter implementation comes after authorities observed “unnecessary movements” during the first two weeks of the imposition of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the city.
Under the executive order, those without no business outside are strictly prevented from going out of their homes.
The exceptions are the following: medical frontliners, officers and other hospital staff, nurses, and health volunteers, emergency and security personnel, force multipliers, all authorized national and local government officials and employees, divers and personnel or delivery vehicles carrying all types of cargoes, accredited media personnel, farmers, fishermen, and agri-business personnel, person seeking medical attention, and employees of establishments and offices permitted to operate.
Parents and guardians are expected to take full responsibility to monitor minors to stay at home and in the implementation of the health protocols.
They are also expected to coordinate with the barangay or Task Force Puyo with respect to concerns within the household, particularly for any suspected case of illness of a household member.
Movements outside the house will be monitored closely with the mobilization of the intra and inter-barangay protocol quarantine points.
The liquor ban also stays.
Curfew remains at 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., except for those who are off to work or going home from work.
As movements outside sitios and barangays are regulated, individuals need to present proof of identity to the Task Force, including either a Cebu City Hall ID, a valid government issued-ID or bona fide ID of other government agencies, and or any valid ID or document issued by establishments permitted to operate during the MECQ period until the end of August.
A barangay lockdown may also be imposed.
Only essential gatherings are allowed, including that in the government and health services and humanitarian activities allowed by the city government.
Religious activities are allowed up to 10% of the venue capacity only. Necrological services, wakes, and interments in sitios, chapels, etc. for deaths that are not related to COVID-19 will be limited to family members only.
Public and private transportation and other alternative modes are allowed to operate but have to follow the guidelines set by Department of Transportation, as well as City Ordinance No. 2628.
An “open-window” policy will be imposed among public transportation services. Air-conditioned vehicles with windows that cannot be retracted or opened are encouraged to secure air purifiers with high-efficiency particulate area (HEPA) filters and ionizers with a capacity proportionate to the area of the vehicle or must reduce passenger capacity.
No Test, No Entry
All persons entering Cebu City through any port of entry are also required to present a negative RT-PCR test result within the last 72 hours or a negative antigen test result within 48 hours.
Inter-LGU perimeter protocols and coordination among neighboring LGUs are also set in place. This includes coordination with the governments of Talisay City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, and Cebu province.
There will be a 70% on-duty police and round-the-clock foot patrol, not only in the barangays and highways, but also in areas where foot traffic is heavy, including in public and supermarkets, department stores, mall, terminals, outdoor sports arena, parks, playground, barangay halls, churches, and even on empty lots which may be utilized as a place for convergence.
IATF Visayas chief implementer Mel Feliciano is expecting Cebu City residents to cooperate and make use of the MECQ to contain the spread of the COVID-19, especially with the threat of the Delta variant and Lambda variant.
Feliciano said he is also expecting the neighboring LGUs to replicate Cebu City’s EO.
This is the second time Cebu City is imposing the stay at home order among its residents. The first instance was last year when the city was under enhanced community quarantine and MECQ status.