The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) clarified that children aged 10 and up are only allowed to go out of their homes in modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas if they are accompanied by their parents or guardians.
The IATF earlier eased the age restrictions of those who could go out in MGCQ areas in a bid to revive the economy. The measure would take on February 1.
However, the Department of Health has expressed concerns regarding the decision since the UK COVID-19 variant is already detected in the Philippines.
According to Cabinet Secretary and IATF co-chairperson Karlo Nograles, they will release a separate advisory regarding the clarification.
“We will release a new clarificatory resolution stating that children should be accompanied by their parents so they can be supervised,” Nograles told radio station dzBB.
Nograles added that compared with other countries, the Philippines is imposing stricter measures when it comes to the movement of children.
IATF: Children allowed to go out in MGCQ areas if accompanied by parents
“Based on the survey we conducted on what other countries are doing, we are the most restrictive when it comes to children. We have already relaxed the age restriction. From 18 to 60 years old, we expanded it (the age of people who are allowed to go out) to 15 to 65 years old and we did not detect any surge (in infections) then,” Nograles said.
The cabinet official said children understand the importance of observing safety protocols such as wearing face masks and face shields, physical distancing, and frequent hand washing.
“Because we saw that after the Christmas holiday, our cases per day are somewhat manageable, we decided to lower the age restriction to ten,” the cabinet secretary said.
Only Metro Manila, Santiago City, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Lanao del Sur, Davao City, and Davao del Norte are still under general community quarantine while the rest of the country is already under MGCQ.
President Rodrigo Duterte the new quarantine classification by the end of January or next month.