Busy roads, mall activity resume as quarantine measures ease in the Philippines

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Cities and communities that had been on quarantine for the last two months suddenly awoke to the familiar sound of busy streets on Saturday, May 16. Quarantine measures are slowly being eased in most parts of the country, and people are preparing to jump back into their ‘new normal’ routine.

However, the lifting of some restrictions and easing of quarantine measures do not exactly mean everything is to return to what it was like before the coronavirus crisis emerged.

Just recently, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) issued a resolution transitioning Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales, and Angeles City under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). Meanwhile, general community quarantine (GCQ) is enforced nationwide.

This means certain safety protocols are still being observed despite the lifting of ECQ in most places. Major road thoroughfares witness the familiar buildup of vehicles because of checkpoints. Malls are already frequented by customers who are carefully observing physical distancing with the help of visual cues placed on the floors by the management. Clad in protective gears such as face masks and gloves, people are taking precaution while trying to get back the normalcy of their lives.

The first day of the transition from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to MECQ and GCQ gave us a glimpse of what our daily lives will look like for the foreseeable future as we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

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