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Government details guidelines on travel after eased lockdown

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PHILSTAR/EDD GUMBAN

THE PRESIDENTIAL palace on Monday detailed the rules on local travel under a relaxed lockdown for much of the country, saying people’s movements would remain restricted to contain a coronavirus pandemic.

Nonessential travel outside one’s province or region would require permission from one’s local government, presidential spokesman Harry L. Roque said at a news briefing.

A traveler must have a medical certificate before getting a travel authority to ensure he has not developed any symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 in the past two weeks, he added.

People traveling for medical and family emergencies and workers with company IDs and allowed to cross borders are exempted from the restrictions, Mr. Roque said.

People may travel within their cities or provinces under a general community quarantine without a pass, he said, but advised the public to stay home just the same. Those below 21 years old, pregnant women, people with comorbidities and other illnesses; and those older than 60 years must stay home.

Leisure travel is prohibited, Mr. Roque said.

Last week, an inter-agency task force composed of Cabinet secretaries eased the lockdown in Metro Manila, Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Central Visayas and the cities of Zamboanga and Davao to a general community quarantine. The rest of the country will be under a modified general quarantine starting June 1.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte locked down the entire Luzon island in mid-March, suspending work, classes and public transportation to contain the pandemic. People should stay home except to buy food and other basic goods, he said.

He extended the lockdown for the island twice and thrice for Manila and nearby cities where COVID-19 infections have been mostly concentrated.

Meanwhile, public transportation in the capital region will resume operations gradually as it reboots its economy after more than two months of strict lockdown, Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año said at a news briefing. More public vehicles would be allowed to operate by June 21, he added.

Many workers in the metro were supposed to start working again on Monday but they had difficulty commuting to work for lack of public transportation.

“We will phase it,” Mr. Año said, adding that crowding in public vehicles could lead to a spike in infections and force the government to order a return to a strict lockdown.

Jeepneys and buses are still banned under a general community quarantine.

The government including the military deployed vehicles yesterday to help stranded workers.

Under the relaxed lockdown, trains have been allowed to operate as long as passengers observe social distancing. Point-to-point buses, taxis and ride-hailing services are now allowed. — Gillian M. Cortez





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