Outsourcing, export and mining companies will be allowed to operate at full capacity during the weeklong strict lockdown in the capital region and nearby provinces that starts on March 29, according to the rules issued by an inter-agency task force.

Persons below 18 years old, senior citizens, people with comorbidities and pregnant women must remain at home except to work or buy basic goods.

Cargo and public utility vehicles and shuttle services of allowed businesses are allowed as long as people comply with health protocols.

Private companies must process payrolls online. “Payroll managers, and such other employees required for the processing of payroll shall be allowed to travel to their respective offices during the enhanced community quarantine,” it said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte placed Metro Manila and the provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna under an enhanced community quarantine amid a fresh surge in coronavirus infections.

“We hope that with these guidelines we would be able to slow down the surge of COVID-19 cases brought by the new variants, provide enough time for our healthcare system to adjust and cope, and protect and save more lives,” presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said in a statement on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Transportation department said public vehicles that are allowed to operate at 50% capacity would be exempted from curfews during the weeklong lockdown.

These include buses, UV Express,  jeepneys, shuttle services, tricycles, taxis and ride-hailing vehicles, Transport Assistant Secretary Mark Steven C. Pastor said at an online news briefing.

Nonmotorized transport and personal mobility devices are also allowed but they should abide by physical distancing measures. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Arjay L. Balinbin