Rules on Interzonal and Intrazonal Travel: ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, MGCQ, No-Quarantine

Interzonal movement is the movement of people, goods and services across areas placed under different community quarantine classifications, while intrazonal movement is the movement of people, goods and services between localities under the same community quarantine classification, without transiting through an area placed under a different classification. These definitions, and the applicable rules, are contained in the IATF Revised Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines dated 15 May 2020 (as amended by IATF Resolution No. 38 dated 22 May 2020). The discussion on intrazonal travel is found in (B) below, while the discussion on interzonal travel is found in (C).

(A) ALLOWED IN ALL AREAS: EXEMPTIONS

Whether or not a person is allowed to travel largely depends on: (a) the quarantine classification of the area where he/she is coming from; (b) the quarantine classification of the are where he/she is going to; and (c) the nature or purpose of the travel. To simplify the discussion, it is important to first carve out the EXEMPTIONS to the lockdown — persons who can move freely within and across any quarantine classification. These are:

  • Personnel handling CARGO. The movement of all types of cargoes by land, air, sea 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 any form of community quarantine. 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.

On the other hand, the following individuals are allowed to travel in all areas, for the specific purpose of the travel: 

  • (1) Health and emergency frontline services personnel.
  • (2) Government officials and government frontline personnel.
  • (3) Duly-authorized humanitarian assistance actors or “HAAs”.
  • (4) Persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons.
  • (5) Persons going to the airport for travel abroad. These are: (i) OFWs; (ii) students enrolled abroad and participants accepted in exchange visitor programs; (iii) permanent residents of foreign jurisdictions; (iv) stranded foreign nationals; and (v) those leaving for medical and other humanitarian reasons. This provision shall not be interpreted to allow outbound travel by Filipinos to countries where travel restrictions are in place. Departing passengers may be accompanied by not more than 1 person when traveling to any international port, who shall be allowed to return to his/her point of origin.
  • (6) Returning or repatriated OFWs, and Overseas Filipinos (OFs) returning to their places of residence. 
  • (7) Persons transported through the efforts of the national government upon conduct of the necessary quarantine protocols and with the concurrence of the receiving LGUs.

Authorized shuttle services shall be allowed to travel within and across areas placed under community quarantine, with priority given to persons rendering health and emergency frontline services. 

(B) INTRAZONAL MOVEMENT

Intrazonal movement, as noted above, is the movement between localities with the same quarantine classification. It is noteworthy that while there is a set of rules for interzonal movement, there are no explicit rules on intrazonal movement. This likely means that the existing guidelines and practices on movement between Local Government Units (LGUs), even if these LGUS have the same quarantine classification, will still be observed. In any case, here are the rules for movement within each locality:

MOVEMENTPUBLIC TRANSPORT
ECQStrict home quarantine must be observed.

Movement is limited to: (a) accessing essential goods and services; and (b) work in permitted offices or establishments
Suspended. However, commissioned shuttle services for employees of permitted offices or establishments, as well as point-to-point transport services provided by the government, shall be allowed to operate. 
MECQStrict home quarantine must be observed.

Movement is limited to: (a) accessing essential goods and services; and (b) work in permitted offices or establishments. No leisure activities allowed. 

Limited operations in malls and shopping centers, except for leisure establishments and services which shall continue to be closed. 
Suspended. However, 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. 

Private transportation (company shuttles and personal vehicles utilized by persons authorized outside their residences) are allowed. Use of bikes and non-motorized transportations is strongly encouraged. 
GCQTravel is allowed, but only for: (a) permitted offices or establishments; (b) accessing essential goods and services. No leisure activities allowed. 

Limited operations in malls and shopping centers, except for leisure establishments and services which shall continue to be closed. 

Individual outdoor exercise allowed (e.g., outdoor walks, jogging, running or biking), subject to minimum health standards and precautions such as the wearing of masks and the maintenance of social distancing protocols are observed.  
Allowed to operate at reduced capacity. Srict 1-meter distance between passengers must be observed.  
MGCQAll persons allowed outside their residence. Establishments are allowed to open, subject to certain rules

Individual and group outdoor exercises (e.g., non-contact sports such as golf, tennis, table tennis, swimming) are allowed, subject to strict enforcement of minimum public health standards. 
Allowed to operate at reduced capacity. Srict 1-meter distance between passengers must be observed.  
No-QuarantineMovement is allowed, even for leisure.

(C) INTERZONAL MOVEMENT

ECQ/MECQ areas: Not allowed to ENTER or EXIT, except when:

  • (b) establishment or industry is permitted operate [list for ECQ and list for MECQ], in which case workers may move across areas placed under any form of community quarantine to render or perform said work or activities. 

GCQ areas:

  • From GCQ to ECQ/MECQ areas (and vice versa), not allowed, except: (a) exempted; (b) establishment or industry is permitted operate [list for ECQ and list for MECQ], in which case workers may move across areas placed under any form of community quarantine to render or perform said work or activities. 
  • From GCQ to MGCQ/No-Quarantine areas (and vice versa): allowed for all purposes, except leisure.

MGCQ areas:

  • From MGCQ to ECQ/MECQ areas (and vice versa), not allowed, except: (a) exempted; (b) establishment or industry is permitted operate [list for ECQ and list for MECQ], in which case workers may move across areas placed under any form of community quarantine to render or perform said work or activities. 
  • From MGCQ to No-Quarantine areas: travel allowed for all purposes, including leisure.
  • From No-Quarantine to MGCQ areas: travel allowed, except leisure.

CARGOES ALLOWED IN AND ACROSS ALL AREAS

The movement of all types of cargoes by land, air, sea within and across areas 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 any form of community quarantine. 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.

ESTABLISHMENTS ALLOWED TO OPERATE IN ECQ AREAS

Work in the following establishments in ECQ areas are allowed. Travel to ECQ areas from other quarantine areas (and, thereafter, exit from the ECQ to the other quarantine areas) is allowed. For the purpose of these permitted establishments, movement within the ECQ area and to/from other quarantine areas is allowed.  

a. At full operational capacity:

  • i. Public or private hospitals;
  • ii. Health and emergency frontline services including dialysis centers, chemotherapy centers and the like;
  • iii. Manufacturers of medicines, medical supplies, devices and equipment, including suppliers of input, packaging, and distribution;
  • iv. 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.
  • v. 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.

b. At a maximum of fifty percent (50%) operational capacity, without prejudice to the adoption of work-from-home or other alternative work arrangements and without diminution of the current operational capacity previously allowed:

  • i. Private establishments and their employees involved in the provision of essential goods and services, and activities in the value chain related to food, medicine and vitamins production, medical supplies, devices and equipment, and other essential products such as but not limited to soap and detergents, diapers, feminine hygiene products, toilet papers and wet wipes, and disinfectants. Such establishments shall include, 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, unless otherwise authorized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI);
  • ii. Media establishments and their total permanent staff complement, as registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and accredited by the Presidential Communications Operations Office; and
  • iii. 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.

c. With skeleton workforce:

  • i. Other medical, dental, rehabilitation, and optometry clinics; pharmacies or drug stores: Provided, there is strict observance of infection prevention and control protocols; Provided, further, that dental procedures shall be limited to emergency cases only and that the wearing of full Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) by dentists and attendants shall be mandatory. Provided finally that home therapy services for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) shall be allowed;
  • ii. Veterinary clinics; 
  • iii. Banks, money transfer services, microfinance institutions, excluding pawnshops not performing money transfer, and credit cooperatives, including their armored vehicle services, if any;
  • iv. 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;
  • v. Water supply and sanitation services and facilities, including waste disposal services, as well as property management and building utility services;
  • vi. 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;
  • vii. 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;
  • viii. Airline and aircraft maintenance, pilots and crew, and and employees of aviation schools for purposes of the pilot’s recurrent training proficiency and type rating using simulator facilities; and ship captains and crew, including shipyard operations and repair;
  • ix. Manufacturing companies and suppliers of equipment or products necessary to perform construction works, such as cement and steel;
  • x. The Philippine Postal Corporation, at an operational capacity necessary to maintain the prompt delivery of services to its clients;
  • xi. 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;
  • xii. 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;
  • xiii. 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. 
  • xiv. Funeral and embalming services. Provided, that funeral service operators are directed to provide shuttling services and/or housing accommodations for their personnel and staff;
  • xv. 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;
  • xvi. 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;
  • xvii. Security personnel.
  • xviii. Printing presses authorized by the Bureau of Internal Revenue or other appropriate agencies to print official receipts and other accountable forms;
  • xix. Companies engaged in repair and maintenance of machinery and equipment, including those engaged in the repair of computers and household fixtures and equipment; and
  • xx. Real estate activities limited to leasing only.

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

  • a. For guests who have existing booking accommodations for foreigners as of 17 March 2020 for Luzon and 01 May 2020 for other areas;
  • 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 accommodation services to guests through in-house skeleton workforce. Ancillary establishments within the premises, such as restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, spas and the like, shall not be allowed to operate or to provide room service; Provided further, that accommodation establishments may prepare: (a) packed meals for distribution to guests who opt for the same; and (b) food orders for take-out and delivery only.

ESTABLISHMENTS ALLOWED TO OPERATE IN MECQ AREAS

A. Industries, establishments and offices allowed to operate in ECQ areas are also allowed to operate in MECQ areas at full operational capapacity. [See List of establishments allowed to operate in ECQ areas

B. In addition, the following establishments or industries may operate at full operational capacity:

  • Media establishments, without need of PCCO accreditation.
  • BPOs and export-oriented establishments, without need to set up onsite or near-site accommodation arrangements.
  • E-commerce companies.
  • Other postal, courier services, and delivery services for articles or products not mentioned in the ECQ-permitted items.
  • Rental and leasing, other than real estate, such as vehicles and equipment for permitted sectors.
  • Employment activities that involve the recruitment and placement for permitted sectors.
  • Housing services activities, such as but not limited to plumbing, roofing, and electrical works.

C. The following offices, establishments or individuals conducting or providing the following activities or services are allowed to operate at 50% operational capacity, while encouraging work-form-home and other flexible work arrangement, where applicable:

  • Other manufacturing industries classified as beverages, including alcoholic drinks, electrical machinery; wood products and furniture; non-metallic products; textiles and clothing/wearing apparels;  tobacco products; paper and paper products; rubber and plastic products; coke and refined petroleum products; other non-metallic mineral products; computers; electronic and optical products; electrical equipment; machinery and equipment; motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers; other transport equipment; and others.
  • Other real estate activities.
  • Administrative and office support such as, but not limited to, providing photocopying and billing services.
  • Other financial services such as, but not limited to, money exchange, insurance, microfinance and credit cooperatives, reinsurance and non-compulsory pension funding.
  • Legal and accounting services.
  • Management consultancy services or activities.
  • Architectural and engineering activities that includes technical testing and analysis. 
  • Science and technology, and research and development.
  • Recruitment and placement agencies for overseas employment.
  • Advertising and market research.
  • Computer programming and information management services.
  • Publishing and printing services.
  • Film, music and television production.
  • Photography, fashion, and industrial, graphic and interior design.
  • Wholesale and retail trade of vehicles and their parts and components, whether such vehicles be fuel, electric or human powered.
  • Repair and maintenance of vehicles as well as its parts or components, including car wash services.
  • Malls and commercial centers, subject to guidelines issued by the DTI relative to operation of the same.
  • Dining and restaurants, but for delivery and take-out only.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Clothing and accessories.
  • Bookstore and school and office supplies.
  • Baby or infant care supplies.
  • Pet food and pet care supplies.
  • Information technology, communications and electronic equipment.
  • Flower, jewelry, novelty, antique and perfume shops.
  • Toy stores, but their playgrounds and amusement areas, if any, shall remain closed.
  • Firearms and ammunition trading establishments, subject to strict regulation of Firearms and Explosives Office.
  • Pastors, priests, rabbi, imams, and other religious ministers insofar as providing home religious services to households. Proper protocols shall be observed such as social distancing, wearing of face masks and the like.

E. Agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including GOCCs, sa well as LGUs may operate at skeleton workforce in combination with other alternative work arrangements as approved by the head of agency unless a different operational capacity is required in agencies providing health and emergency frontline services, border control, and other critical services.

F. Accredited diplomatic missions and international organizations shall be advised to operate under a skeleton workforce, without prejudice to alternative work arrangements as the said missions or organizations may deem proper. 

G. Hotels or similar establishments shall not be allowed to operate, except those accommodating the following:

  • a.  For guests who have existing booking accommodations for foreigners as of 17 March 2020 for Luzon and 01 May 2020 for other areas;
  • 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 accommodation services to guests through in-house skeleton workforce. Ancillary establishments within the premises, such as restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, spas and the like, shall not be allowed to operate or to provide room service; Provided further, that accommodation establishments may prepare: (a) packed meals for distribution to guests who opt for the same; and (b) food orders for take-out and delivery only.

H. Mass gatherings such as but not limted to, movie screedings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities, community assemblies, and non-essential work gatherings shall be prohibited. Gatherings that are for provision of critical government services and authorized humanitarian activities shall be allowed. Religious gatherings are not encouraged and shall be limited to not more than five (5) persons, until otherwise modified through subsequent issuances of the IATF.

I. Other essential and priority public and private construction projects shall be allowed, subject to compliance with the DPWC construction safety guidelines. However, that small-scale projects as defined and set by the DPWF shall not be allowed.

J. The following shall NOT be allowed to operate within an area under MECQ:

  • Tourist destinations such as water parks, reservation service and related services;
  •  Entertainment industries such as cinemas, theaters, and karaoke bars;
  • Kid amusement industries such as playroom and kiddie rides;
  • Libraries, archives, museums and cultural centers; 
  • Gyms, fitness studios and sports facilities; and
  • Personal care services such as massage parlors, sauna, facial care and waxing.

K. Other exemptions from the ECQ through previous IATF resolutions or issuances by the Office of the President shall also be applied in MECQ. 

ESTABLISHMENTS ALLOWED TO OPERATE IN GCQ AREAS

A. Establishments and industries allowed to operate in ECQ and MECQ areas are also allowed to operate at full capacity in GCQ areas. [See List of establishments allowed to operate in ECQ areas and industries allowed to operate in MECQ areas]

B. In addition, the following industries or establishments are allowed to open in GCQ areas:

  • 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 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 50% work-on-site arrangement, and without prejudice to work-from-home and other alternative work arrangements. 

B. Limited operations in malls and shopping centers shall be allowed, except for leisure establishments and services which shall continue to be closed. Establishments and services allowed to operate in malls and shopping centers may only operate at a capacity provided above. Those ages below 21 years old, and those 60 years old and above, and those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women, including any person who resides with the aforementioned, 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. The operations of malls and shopping centers are subject to the guidelines of the DTI. 

C. 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. 

D. 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. 

E. 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). Provided, that for offices requiring employees to report physically, commissioned shuttle services as well as point-to-point transport services may be provided.

F. 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.

G. 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

OPERATING RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS IN MGCQ AREAS

Work in all public and private offices are allowed to resume in full capacity. However, alternative arrangements must be in place for:

  • (1) persons who are 60 years old and above,
  • (2) those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks, and 
  • (3) pregnant women. 

Offices, establishments or individuals conducting or providing activities or services are allowed to operate under the following work capacities:

  • a. Category I and II industries, at maximum operational capacity;
  • b. Category III industries, at maximum operational capacity. Nevertheless, barber shops, salons, and other personal care service establishments shall be allowed to operate at a maximum of 50% venue capacity. Dine-in service in food retail establishments such as supermarkets, grocery stores, and food preparation establishments shall be allowed provided that the seating capacity may not exceed 50%; and
  • c. Category IV and all other establishments not permitted to operate under other community classifications, at a maximum of 50% operational capacity.

Work in government offices may be at full operational capacity, or under such alternative work arrangements as agencies may deem appropriate in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations issued by the Civil Service Commission (CSC). Accredited diplomatic missions and international organizations may resume full operations. 

P&L Law

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