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Fully-vaccinated seniors in GCQ, MGCQ areas now allowed to go out

MJ Blancaflor



senior citizens receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Fully-vaccinated elderly individuals residing in areas under the least restrictive quarantine status can now step out of their homes even for non-essential activities.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on Thursday passed a resolution exempting senior citizens from the government’s stay-at-home orders, provided that they had received their two-dose COVID-19 jabs.

The elderly individuals permitted to travel are those residing in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ (MGCQ), the task force said.

According to the resolution, senior citizens who wish to travel should present their vaccination cards and observe health protocols against COVID-19 while outdoors.

However, the movement of fully-vaccinated seniors in areas under a different quarantine classification remains prohibited, the IATF said.

“The movement of fully-vaccinated seniors is, however, limited to travel within their zone, as interzonal travel is still prohibited, except for point-to-point travel that was previously allowed,” the IATF said.

For example, fully-vaccinated senior citizens who live in Metro Manila can travel to other areas in NCR Plus—National Capital Region, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna—since the entire area is under GCQ.

The IATF’s decision came following appeals from various groups to give fully-vaccinated senior citizens a privilege to step out of their homes as they continue to heed the health protocols.

The trade department earlier sought incentives for fully-vaccinated individuals, including permission for the elderly to go to public areas, in a bid to spur economic activity.

Around 1.7 million individuals in the country have been fully vaccinated, while 4.5 million Filipinos have received their first doses.

The elderly population belongs to the top three priority groups in the immunization drive, including medical workers and people with chronic illnesses.

The government is eyeing to inoculate 50 to 70 million people this year to achieve “population protection” against COVID-19.