COVID-19 code red sublevel 2: What does this mean for commuters, motorists?

Travel safe and avoid touching your face
by Drei Laurel | Mar 12, 2020
PHOTO: Jason Tulio

The government has raised COVID-19’s alert level to code red sublevel 2. Now, chances are many of you have some idea or notion of what this means thanks to information circulating online, but let’s clear things up a bit. Here’s how this will affect travel based on what we know so far from official sources:

1) Rail lines will remain operational.

According to the resolution submitted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease—which President Rodrigo Duterte says he will consider converting into an Executive Order—all of Metro Manila’s rail operations will continue to operate. This covers the MRT-3, the LRT-1 and LRT-2, and the Philippine National Railways (PNR). The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will issue guidelines regarding social distancing on board trains.

2) Domestic travel will be suspended.

This goes for land-, air-, or sea-based domestic travel to and from Metro Manila. This measure will take effect two days after the resolution is issued.

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3) Classes will be suspended.

The suspension of classes for all levels in Metro Manila will be extended until April 12, 2020. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is responsible for ensuring students remain at home for the duration of the suspension.

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Classes will be suspended in the following local government units (LGU) as well:

  1. Imus City, Cavite
  2. San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan
  3. Santa Maria, Batangas
  4. Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
  5. Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental

LGUs are also “advised to exercise sound discretion” in suspending classes “without prejudice to a determination by the national government to suspend classes if the situation so warrants.”

4) Work is allowed.

The private sector will be permitted to work. The DILG, however, will issue guidelines to ensure the safety of the workforce, and flexible working arrangements are being encouraged. Manufacturing, retail, and service establishments are advised to continue operating “provided strict social distancing measures” are observed.

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5) Travel restrictions will be imposed.

Entry travel restrictions for individuals coming from countries with reported localized transmission of COVID-19 will be implemented. Filipino citizens, however, are exceptions. This includes their foreign spouse or children, holders of Permanent Resident Visas, and holders of diplomatic Visas.

6) Mass gatherings will be prohibited.

Under the resolution, any mass gatherings whether planned or spontaneous where crowds may “strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event” will be prohibited.

NOTE: We will be doing follow-up stories as soon as further directives with conclusive guidelines on the Metro Manila-wide community quarantine are released. To stay updated and for health and safety tips, you may go to our COVID-19 tag.

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PHOTO: Jason Tulio
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