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Because lockdowns for the coronavirus continue in the Philippines, I decided to release this post. “Quarantine Levels for Expats in the Philippines.”

Quarantine Levels for Expats in the Philippines

Of course, the quarantine levels for expats in the Philippines are the same for Filipinos for the most part. However, LSIs, Locally Stranded Individuals, which can apply to either Filipinos or foreigners, face different restrictions. LSIs are those individuals attempting to return to their home province. Therefore, LSIs have to coordinate with the individual province they are attempting to return.

New Quarantine Levels Announced

President Rodrigo Duterte downgraded Cebu City to general community quarantine (GCQ) on Friday, July 31. Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City will remain under GCQ.

The new classification took effect on Saturday, August 1. Cebu City had been under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) since July 16, 2020. Here’s a snapshot of the current quarantine levels in the Philippines.

GCQ is a form of quarantine with more relaxed measures compared to the former more restrictive enhanced community quarantine (ECQ.) Moreover, it appears that the strict lockdown ECQ classification will not be returning any time soon. GMA NEWS Online reported the following statement from Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque:

“The strict lockdown in Metro Manila has served its purpose, and we need to intensify other strategies. Community quarantine alone, we repeat, is an insufficient response in controlling COVID-19.  We are scaling up hospital capacity by increasing allocation of COVID-dedicated beds while hiring more doctors, nurses, and medical personnel.”

Our Island Province of Guimaras Loses COVID-free Status

Guimaras, the island province we call home, is under MGCQ, despite having its first recorded case of COVID-19. Hence, Guimaras has lost its status as the only coronavirus-free province in Western Visayas.

Modified General Community Quarantine, MGCQ, is an even more relaxed classification than the General Community Quarantine is. According to new guidelines issued from the Philippine Dept. of Trade and Industry, DTI, many businesses are allowed to stay open until 11:00 pm. Curfew hours have been changed to a four-hour window of Midnight until 4:00 am.

Thus, local government units (LGUs) are being encouraged to adjust curfew hours accordingly to enhance income opportunities for workers and business owners.

Philippines Back to Normal in December

In addition, the wearing of masks and social distancing rules still apply. Nevertheless, no worries mate. News stories today report that President Duterte says the Philippines will return to normal by this December.

Duterte believes a vaccine for the coronavirus will be available by December. The President also believes that the vaccine could come from China. China has promised to give the Philippines priority once a vaccine is developed.

Duterte also believes that soaking facemasks in gasoline is a viable way to disinfect them. No, I’m not making this up.

Using Gasoline not a Joke

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday (Jul 31) said Filipinos should use gasoline as an alternative disinfectant for protective face masks. In addition, Duterte stressed that his advice was not a joke.

Gasoline sold in Coke bottles in Guimaras

The President made a similar remark about using gasoline on masks last week. However, government authorities said that the President often makes jokes during his speeches. In contrast, on Friday, July 31, Duterte made the following statement:

“What I said is true. Just go to the gasoline station, and then have some drops, that’s disinfectant. I am not joking. That is true. You think I am just kidding.”

Quarantine Levels for Expats in the Philippines

Quarantine levels for expats in the Philippines and Filipinos may continue until the end of the year. That’s according to some government officials. Nonetheless, along with other foreigners in Guimaras, the MGCQ is not offering any restrictions that we can’t deal with. We still can travel to nearby Iloilo City to do our shopping.

We don’t meet at any local restaurants anymore, but manage to stay in touch with each other. Frankly, aside from the wearing of facemasks in public, life is about is normal as it can get despite the current pandemic.

In addition, we also keep away from cockfight operations, bars, nightclubs, and kiddie amusement playrooms. Those establishments can still not legally open.

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