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COVID-19 WATCH

Cebu quarantine restrictions downgraded

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Malacañang has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to downgrade Cebu Province’s modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification to general community quarantine with heightened restrictions.

A portion of IATF Resolution 130-D released Sunday said “The Province of Cebu shall be placed under GCQ until 15 August, without prejudice to their reclassification as may be warranted and the declaration of localized enhanced community quarantine in critical areas, and with the observance and implementation of the heightened restrictions.”

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia welcomed the downgrading as she assured that there will be no border control.

“In observance of the ‘one-island-policy,’ residents from the tri-cities (Cebu City, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu) can travel to and from Cebu Province,” she assured.

In separate interviews, acting Mayor Michael Rama of Cebu City and Mayor Jonas Cortes of Mandaue City are hopeful that both cities’ classification which is MECQ will be downgraded.

“ Maybe, they would reconsider our appeal for Cebu City, it may come later, they made Cebu province first,” Rama told the Daily Tribune.

Cortes for his part said “The IATF classification serves as guidance to local government units on the necessary actions to be made based on science and data. At the end of the day what matters is how to manage this pandemic. We have to live in the reality that Covid will stay and we must live in the “ new normal.” It may be delta variant now and a new variant will surely emerge, but what is important is our concerted effort to act and recover as one.”

As of press time, Mayor Junard Chan of Lapu-Lapu has not replied on the matter.

The Province of Cebu and the Tri-Cities of Cebu,Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu separately appealed to IATF-MEID to reconsider placing the areas under MECQ.

However, the province’s appeal was considered but none yet to the tri-cities.

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