The Philippine capital will remain under lockdown, or what the government described as “modified enhanced community quarantine,” until the end of May.
The other areas that will remain under strict quarantine because of the continuing spread of the new coronavirus disease are Cebu City and the province Laguna.
The government will, however, allow some businesses and public transport to operate in these areas.
Under the “modified enhanced community quarantine,” there will be limited movement within zones without cases of the coronavirus disease while strict lockdown will be implemented in “high-risk communities.”
Manufacturing and food processing industries will be allowed to operate with a maximum of 50 percent of their workforce.
Limited transport services for essential goods and services will also be allowed.
Update: Authorities have withdrawn the earlier announcement that the government is lifting all lockdown restrictions in areas with low COVID-19 community transmissions.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that there was an “honest mistake” when authorities indicated that some areas are no longer under any quarantine protocol.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said these areas will be placed under the “modified general community quarantine.”
“We have no areas in the country that are not under the category of a community quarantine. We just have different levels,” said Año.
Año said the decision was made after some local government officials appealed that they are not ready yet to lift the restrictions.
Metro Manila, Cebu City, and the province of Laguna will remain under strict lockdown, selected industries, however, will be allowed to operate.