Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, as Amended (IATF)

[The guidelines were issued on 29 April 2020 by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), as amended by subsequent Resolutions of the IATF, as noted in the appropriate provisions. The full text of the Omnibus Guidelines is reproduced below. Added: See Revised Omnibus Guidelines.]


OMNIBUS GUIDELINES ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMUNITY QUARANTINE IN THE PHILIPPINES

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. (E.O.) 168, s. 2014 created the Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of Emerging Infections Diseases (IATF) to facilitate inter-sectoral collaboration to establish preparedness and ensure efficient government response to assess, monitor, contain, control, and prevent the spread of potential epidemic in the Philippines;

WHEREAS, Section 2(c) of E.O 168 mandates the IATF to prevent and/or minimize the local spread of emerging infectious diseases in the country through the establishment or reinforcement of a system in screening possible patients infected with emerging infections diseases, contact tracing, identification of the mode of exposure to the virus, and implementation of effective quarantine and proper isolation procedures;

WHEREAS, on 28 January 2020, the IATF convened, and thereafter issued regular recommendations for the management of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease which is now known as CoronaVirus Disease 2019 (COVID-1);

WHEREAS, the March 18, 2020 Memorandum from the Office of the Executive Secretary directed all heads of departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of government, including the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), and Local Government Units (LGUs) to adopt, coordinate, and implement guidelines which the IATF may issue on the COVID-19 situation, consistent with the respective agency mandates and relevant laws, rules, and regulations;

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises set forth herein, the IATF issues these Omnibus Guidelines to harmonize and codify existing policies of the IATF and member-agencies pertaining to community quarantine, which shall be applied to all regions, provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays placed under community quarantine.

SECTION 1. DEFINITION OF TERMS. For purposes of these Guidelines, the following shall be defined as follows:

1. Community Quarantine – refers to the restriction of movement within, into, or out of the area of quarantine of individuals, large groups of people, or communities, designed to reduce the likelihood of transmission of COIVD-19 among persons in and to persons outside the affected area.

2. COVID-19 – refers to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 which is caused by the virus known as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2).

3. Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) – refers to the implementation of temporary measures imposing stringent limitations on movement and transportation of people, strict regulation of operating industries, provision of food and essential services, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

4. Essential goods and services – covers health and social services to secure the safety and well-being of persons, such as but not limited to, food, water, medicine, medical services, public utilities, energy and others as may be determined by the IATF. 

5. General Community Quarantine (GCQ) – refers to the implementation of temporary measures limiting movement and transportation, regulation of operating industries, and presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols. 

6. Health and emergency frontline services – services provided by the pubic health workers [all employees of the Department of Health (DOH), DOH Hospitals, Hospitals of LGUs, and Provincial, City, and Rural Health Units, and Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers including those managed by other government agencies (e.g., police and military hospitals/clinics, university medical facilities), uniformed medical personnel], private health workers, such as but not limited to medical professionals, hospital and health facility administrative and maintenance staff, and aides from private health facilities, as well as their service providers, health workers and volunteers of the Philippine Red Cross and the World Health Organization, and employees of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC), health insurance providers, disaster risk reduction management officers, and public safety officers.

7. Minimum public health standards – guidelines set by the DOH, as well as sector-relevant guidelines issued by government agencies, to aid all sectors in all settings to implement non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI), which refer to public health measures that do not involve vaccines, medications or other pharmaceutical interventions, which individuals and communities can carry out in order to reduce transmission rates, contact rates, and the duration of infectiousness of individuals in the population to mitigate COVID-19.

8. Skeleton workforce – refers to the operation capacity which utilizes the smallest number of people needed for a business or organization to maintain its basic function. 

SEC. 2. GUIDELINES FOR AREAS UNDER ECQ. Areas placed under ECQ shall observe the following protocols:

1. Minimum public health standards shall be complied with at all times for the duration of the ECQ.

2. Strict home quarantine shall be observed in all households, and the movement of all residents shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in permitted offices or establishments listed hereunder. 

3. Any person below twenty-one (21) years old, those who are sixty (6) years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women, including any person who resides with the aforementioned, shall be required to remain in their residences at all times except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices. 

4. The following are allowed to work or operate with a skeleton workforce unless a different operational capacity is provided:

a. All agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including GOCCs, as well as LGUs, especially health and emergency frontline, border control, and other critical services, as well as government vehicles;

b. Officials and employees of foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), whenever performing diplomatic functions and subject to the guidelines issued by the DFA;

c. Industries involved in agriculture, forestry, fishery and their workers, including farmers, Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs), fisherfolk, and agri-fisheries stores, and such other components of the food value chain, at full operational capacity;

d. Private establishments and their employees involved in the provision of essential goods and services, and activities in the value chain related to food and medicine production, such as but not limited to, public markets, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenient stores, laundry shops, food preparation establishments insofar as take-out and delivery services, water-refilling stations, hospitals, medical, dental, and optometry clinics, pharmacies, and drug stores; Provided, that for dental procedures, the wearing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) by dentists and attendants shall be mandatory, with strict observance to infection prevention and control protocols;

e. Manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products, medicine and vitamins, medical supplies, devices and equipment, and essential products such as but not limited to soap and detergents, diapers, feminine hygiene products, toilet papers and wet wipes, and disinfectants. Provided, that establishments involved in the production, manufacturing, packaging, processing, and distribution of food may operate at a maximum of fifty percent (50%) of their respective workforces, unless the supply level of a basic food product warrants a higher capacity. In which case, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is hereby authorized to approve the temporary increase of workforce capacity. Provided, further, that manufacturers of medicines, medical supplies, devices and equipment, including but not limited to suppliers of input, packaging, and distribution, shall be allowed to operate at full capacity;

f. Delivery services, whether in-house or outsourced, transporting food, medicine, or other essential goods. Delivery of clothing, accessories, hardware, housewares, school and office supplies, as well as pet food and other veterinary products, shall likewise be allowed;

g. Banks, money transfer services, microfinance institutions, excluding pawnshops not performing money transfer, and credit cooperatives, including their armored vehicle services, if any;

h. Capital markets, including but not limited to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Securities and Exchange Commission, Philippine Stock Exchange, Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corporation, Philippine Securities Settlement Corporation, and Philippine Depository and Trust Corporation;

j. Energy companies, their third-party contractors and service providers, including employees involved in electric transmission and distribution, electric power plant and line maintenance, electricity, electricity market and retail suppliers, as well as those involved in the exploration, operations, trading and delivery of coal, oil, crude, or petroleum and by-products (gasoline, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas, jet oil, kerosene, lubricants), including refineries and depots or any kind of fuel used to produce electricity;

k. Telecommunications companies, internet service providers, cable television providers, including those who perform indirect services such as the technical, sales, and other support personnel, as well as the employees of their third-party contractors doing sales, installation, maintenance and repair works;

l. Business process outsourcing establishments (BPOs) and export-oriented business with work-from-home, on-site or near-site accommodation, or point-to-point shuttling arrangements. For this purpose, BPOs and their service providers and export-oriented businesses shall be allowed to install and transport the necessary work-from-home equipment, to enhance their operations by deploying their workers under on-site or near-site accommodation arrangements, or provide pint-to-point shuttle services from their near-site accommodations to their offices;

m. Airline and aircraft maintenance employees, including pilots and crew, and ship captains and crew;

n. Media establishments, at a maximum operational capacity of fifty percent (50%) of their total permanent staff complement as registered under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), inclusive of reporters and other field employees, as accredited by the Presidential Communications Operations Office;

o. Essential projects, whether public or private, such as but not limited to quarantine and isolation facilities for Persons under Monitoring (PUMs), and suspect and confirmed COVID-19 patients, facilities for the health sector including those dealing with PUMs, and suspect and confirmed COVID-19 patients, facilities for construction personnel who perform emergency works, flood control, and other disaster risk reduction and rehabilitation works, sewerage projects, water service facilities projects, as well as priority private construction projects defined as those that refer to food production, agriculture, fishery, fishport development, energy, housing, communication, water utilities, manufacturing, and Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) shall likewise be allowed to operate in accordance with guidelines issued by the DPWH. [As amended by IATF Resolution No. 34, series of 2020, dated 8 May 2020]

p. Manufacturing companies and suppliers of equipment or products necessary to perform construction works;

q. Workers accredited by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to work on utility relocation works, and specified limited works across thirteen (13) railway projects, including replacement works for the Metro Manila Rail Transit System Line 3. Provided, that where applicable, on-site or near-site accommodations and/or point-to-point shuttle services should be arranged;

r. Employees of the Philippine Postal Corporation at a capacity necessary to maintain the prompt delivery of services to its clients;

s. The Philippine Statistics Authority, at a capacity necessary to conduct data gathering and survey activities related to COVID-19 and the registration and implementation of the national identification (ID) system;

t. Funeral and embalming services. Provided, that funeral service operators are directed to provide shuttling services and/or housing accommodations for their personnel and staff;

u. Humanitarian assistance personnel from civil society organizations (CSOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and United Nations-Humanitarian Country Teams, as well as individuals performing relief operations to augment the government’s response against COVID-19 and other disasters or calamities that may occur. Provided, that they are authorized by the appropriate government agency or LGU;

v. Pastors, priests, imams, or such religious ministers whose movement shall be related to the conduct of necrological or funeral rites. In this connection, immediate family members of the deceased from causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed to move from their residences to attend the wake or interment of the deceased upon satisfactory proof of their relationship with the latter and social distancing measures;

w. Veterinary clinics; and 

x. Security personnel.

For purposes of the foregoing, transit by permitted persons to and from the above establishments anywhere within the area covered by ECQ shall be allowed. 

5. The co-equal or independent authority of the legislature (Senate and House of Representatives), the judiciary (the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals, Sandiganbayan, and the lower courts), the Office of the Ombudsman, and the constitutional commissions to operate and accredit their skeleton workforces, or implement any other alternative work arrangements, is recognized.

6. No hotels or similar establishments shall be allowed to operate, except those accommodating the following:

  • a. For areas outsize Luzon, guests who have existing booking accommodations for foreigners as of May 1, 2020;
  • b. Guests who have existing long-term bookings;
  • c. Distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and stranded Filipinos or foreign nationals;
  • d. Repatriated OFWs in compliance with approved quarantine protocols;
  • e. Non-OFWs who may be required to undergo mandatory facility-based quarantine; and
  • f. Health workers and other employees from exempted establishments under these Omnibus Guidelines and applicable Memoranda from the Executive Secretary.

Provided that in all of the foregoing, hotel operations shall be limited to the provision of basic lodging to guests. 

7. Mass gatherings such as but not limited to, movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities, community assemblies, religious gatherings, and non-essential work gatherings shall be prohibited. 

8. Physical classes at all levels shall be suspended for the duration of the ECQ.

9. Public transportation shall be suspended. This notwithstanding, commissioned shuttle services for employees of permitted offices or establishments, as well as point-to-point transport services provided by the government for healthcare workers including frontline and emergency personnel, shall be allowed to operate.

10. Agencies and their regional offices in the executive branch are hereby directed to issue accreditation, office, or travel orders to identify their respective skeleton workforces for critical services operating for the duration of the ECQ. Bona fide IDs issued by the respective agencies shall be sufficient for movement within the contained areas. Skeleton workforces may use official agency vehicles. 

11. Regulatory agencies with jurisdiction over permitted establishments or persons are likewise tasked to issue official IATF accreditation IDs. Bona fide IDs issued by establishments exempted from the strict home quarantine requirement shall likewise be honored by law enforcement agencies.

12. RapidPass system shall be complementary to the existing IATF IDs issued by the member-agencies which shall continue to be honored in all quarantine checkpoints. Enrollment for RapidPass IDs shall be voluntary and shall only cover qualified private sector entities or persons. The movement of cargo vehicles shall be unhampered. Cargo vehicles as well as vehicles used by public utility companies, BPOs, and export-oriented establishments shall not be subject to an ID system.

13. Government offices and private corporations are encouraged to process payrolls online. However, for those who cannot, payroll managers, and such other employees that may be required to process payrolls and print payrolls shall be allowed to travel and operate covering the periods of ECQ.

14. Other exemptions from the home quarantine requirement through previous IATF resolutions or issuances by the Office of the President shall be honored. 

SEC. 3. GUIDELINES FOR AREAS UNDER GENERAL COMMUNITY QUARANTINE. Areas placed under GCQ shall observe the following protocols:

1. Minimum public health standards shall be complied with at all times for the duration of the GCQ.

2. The movement of all persons in areas placed under GCQ shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in the offices or industries permitted to operate hereunder. Provided, that movement for leisure purposes shall not be allowed.

3. Any person below twenty-one (21) years old, those who are sixty (60) years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women, including any person who resides with the aforementioned, shall be required to remain in their residences at all times except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices. 

4. Work in government offices may be at full capacity, or under such alternative work arrangements as agencies deem proper in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations issued by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

5. Accredited diplomatic missions and international organizations may be at fifty percent (50%) operational capacity. Alternative work arrangements such as flexible work arrangements, compressed work week, telework, and telecommuting is strongly encouraged.

6. The following sectors or industries shall be allowed to operate:

  • a. Category I Industries – Agriculture, fishery, and forestry industries, food manufacturing and food supply chain businesses, including food retail establishments such as supermarkets, grocery stores, and food preparation establishments insofar as take-out and delivery services, food deliver services, health-related establishments, the logistics sector, information technology and telecommunication companies, the media, at full operational capacity;
  • b. Category II Industries – Mining and other manufacturing, export-oriented, and electronic commerce companies, as well as other delivery, repair and maintenance, and housing and office services, at anywhere between fifty percent (50%) up to full operational capacity, and without prejudice to work-from-home and other alternative work arrangements; and 
  • c. Category III Industries – Financial Services, BPOs, legal and accounting, and auditing services, professional, scientific, technical, and other non-leisure services, barber shops, salon, and other personal care services as defined by the DTI, and other non-leisure wholesale and retail establishments, at a maximum of fifty percent (50%) work-on-site arrangement, and without prejudice to work-from-home and other alternative work arrangements. 

Specific industries under each category are reflected in a separate document issued by the DTI. [See Detailed List of Sectors Allowed During GCQ, Categories I-IV

7. Limited operations in malls and shopping centers shall be allowed, except for leisure establishments and services which shall continue to be closed. Provided, that establishments and services allowed to operate in malls and shopping centers may only operate at a capacity consistent with item (5) of this Section. Provided, further, those ages below 21 years old, and those 60 years old and above may not enter malls and shopping centers, except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in establishments located therein. Provided, finally, that DTI may issue guidelines to limit foot traffic in such establishments. 

8. All public and private construction projects, but with strict compliance to the issued construction safety guidelines for the implementation of infrastructure projects during the COVID-19 pandemic. [As amended by IATF Resolution No. 34, series of 2020, dated 8 May 2020]

9. Amusement, gaming, and fitness establishments, as well as those in the kids and the tourism industries, and all Category IV industries may not operate. Industries in Category IV are reflected in the separate DTI issuance mentioned above. [See Detailed List of Sectors Allowed During GCQ, Categories I-IV

10. No hotels or similar establishments shall be allowed to operate, except those accommodating the following:

  • a. For areas outsize Luzon, guests who have existing booking accommodations for foreigners as of May 1, 2020;
  • b. Guests who have existing long-term bookings;
  • c. Distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and stranded Filipinos or foreign nationals;
  • d. Repatriated OFWs in compliance with approved quarantine protocols;
  • e. Non-OFWs who may be required to undergo mandatory facility-based quarantine; and
  • f. Health workers and other employees from exempted establishments under these Omnibus Guidelines and applicable Memoranda from the Executive Secretary.

Provided that in all of the foregoing, hotel operations shall be limited to the provision of basic lodging to guests. 

11. Physical classes shall be suspended for the duration of the GCQ.

This notwithstanding, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) may hold classes through flexible learning arrangements to finish the Academic Year 2019-2020, and may operate at a limited capacity to receive students’ requirements and prepare and issue credentials to students subject to the guidelines as may be issued by the Commission on Higher Education. [See additional provisions under IATF Resolution No. 34 dated 8 May 2020, noted in IATF Omnibus Guidelines for Areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ)]

12. The prohibition on mass gatherings as provided in Section 2 of the Guidelines shall also be applicable to areas placed under GCQ.

13. The road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation shall operate at a reduced capacity in accordance with guidelines issued by the DOTr. Provided, that in all public transports, a strict one (1) meter distance between passengers shall be observed and appropriate engineering controls in place. 

SEC. 4. GUIDELINES FOR INTERZONAL MOVEMENT. This section shall apply to the transit of people and goods from (a) an ECQ area to a GCQ area, and vice versa, and (b) an area not under community quarantine to a GCQ or ECQ area, and vice versa. In the case of transit across localities in the same community quarantine setup, such transits will be treated as movements within a single GCQ or ECQ zone. 

1. The non-essential entry and exit of people to and from the ECQ zone shall be prohibited, except: (1) health workers, (2) government officials and government frontline personnel, (3) those traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons, (4) persons transiting to the airport for travel abroad, (5) workers in permitted establishments and persons providing essential goods and services and public utilities, (6) essential skeletal workforce, (7) repatriated OFWs and non-OFWs returning to their residences, and (8) other persons transported through the efforts of the national government upon conduct of the necessary quarantine protocols and in concurrence with the receiving LGUs;

2. The movement of all types of cargoes by land, air, sea within and across areas placed under ECQ or GCQ shall be unhampered. Workers in the logistics sector, such as cargo, trucking, and port operations shall likewise be allowed to transit across areas placed under ECQ or GCQ. All LGUs are directed to strictly abide by this national policy. Provided, that only a maximum of five (5) personnel may operate cargo and delivery vehicles by land, with or without load.

LGUs and local health units (LHUs) are hereby enjoined not to issue orders contrary to or inconsistent with said directive, such as, but not limited to, requiring asymptomatic drivers and crew of cargo or service delivery vehicles to undergo mandatory fourteen (14)-day home quarantine. Provided, further, that strict social distancing measures must be strictly observed, which may include, if necessary, the putting up of additional safe and humane seats or space in the vehicles. Provided, finally, that the PNP retains its authority to conduct inspection procedures in checkpoints for the purpose of ensuring that protocols on strict home quarantine are observed.

3. Land, air or sea travel by uniformed personnel and government officials and employees for official business, with the corresponding travel authority, especially those transporting medical supplies and laboratory specimens related to COVID-19, and other relief and humanitarian assistance, shall be allowed.

4. OFWs, permanent residents of foreign jurisdictions, and stranded foreign nationals may leave for abroad through any of the airports or seaports in areas placed under ECQ or GCQ without any impediment. Provided that this provision shall not be interpreted to allow outbound travel by Filipinos to countries where travel restrictions are in place. Provided, further, that departing passengers may be accompanied by not more than one (1) person when traveling to any international port, who shall be allowed to return to his/her point of origin.

5. Repatriated OFWs or returning non-OFWs who have been issued a DOH or LGU certificate of completion of fourteen-(14)-day facility-based quarantine, or those who may be required to undergo a mandatory fourteen (14)-day home quarantine shall be granted unhampered transit across zones en route to their final destination in the Philippines. For this purpose, LGUs are enjoined to allow maritime vessels or aircraft transporting the aforementioned OFWs and non-OFWs to dock or land at their ports of destination. 

SEC. 5. GENERAL PROVISONS

1. LGUs are enjoined to enact the necessary ordinances to enforce curfew for non-workers in jurisdictions placed under GCQ and to penalize, in a fair and humane manner, violations of the restrictions on the movement of people as provided under these Omnibus Rules.

2. For residential and commercial rents falling due within the duration of the ECQ or GCQ upon residential lessees and micro-, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) not permitted to operate during said period, a grace period of thirty (30) days from the last due date, or until such time that the community quarantine is lifted shall be observed, whichever is longer, without incurring interests, penalties, fees, or other charges.

3. All persons are mandated to wear face masks, earloop masks, indigenous, reusable, do-it-yourself masks, or face shields, handkerchiefs, or such other protective equipment or any combination thereof, which can effectively lessen the transmission of COVID-19, whenever they go out of their residences, pursuant to existing guidelines issued by the national government. Concerned LGUs are hereby enjoined to issue the necessary executive order or ordinance to that effect, and to provide fair and humane penalties. 

4. Supermarkets, public and private wet markets, grocery stores, agri-fishery supply stores, veterinary supply stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and other retail establishments engaged in the business of selling essential goods are strongly encouraged to extend their store operations to a maximum of twelve (12) hours. LGUs are directed to allow such establishments to operate pursuant to the foregoing. Provided that in the operation of wet markets, LGUs are encouraged to adopt reasonable schemes to ensure compliance with strict social distancing measures, such as, but not limited to, providing for specific daily schedules per sector, barangay, or purok, as the case may be. In no case shall such schemes involve narrowing the hours of operation of the foregoing establishments. 

5. As for discrimination inflicted upon healthcare workers, repatriated OFWs and non-OFWs, COVID-19 cases, whether confirmed, recovered or undergoing treatment, as well as suspect and probable cases, and Persons under Monitoring are denounced in the strongest of terms. Acts in furtherance of discrimination, such as, but not limited to, coercion, libel, slander, physical injuries and the dishonor of contractual obligations such as contracts of lease or employment, shall be dealt with criminally, civilly, and/or administratively. LGUs are enjoined to issue the necessary executive orders and/or enact ordinances prohibiting and penalizing these discriminatory acts. 

SEC. 6. EFFECTIVITY. These Omnibus Guidelines shall take effect upon approval of the President. 

APPROVED during the 30th Inter-Agency Task Force Meeting. Held on 29 April 2020 via video conference. 

P&L Law

2 thoughts on “Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, as Amended (IATF)

  1. AvatarMary Ann Lagua

    Hello po, May I be clarified on interzonal movement from gcq to gcq provinces, Am I required to undergo 14day quarantine if I work in Ilocos Sur and goes home to Ilocos Norte and vice versa? I am a skeletal workforce in a school. I am hoping to receive an answer. Thank you

    Reply

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