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Travel Restrictions between GCQ & MGCQ Areas Become Laxer

Itching to get outside? Malacañang has good news for you.

On October 16, the COVID-19 task force announced that it is now allowing travel between general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ (MGCQ) areas to help boost local economy and tourism as Yuletide Season approaches. This includes even individuals who are not considered APOR (authorized persons outside of residence).

Additionally, Malacañang says it is possible for Manila to be downgraded to MGCQ status, depending on public compliance to safety protocols such as wearing face masks and handwashing.

Below is a more detailed list of the recent guidelines on laxer local travel.


The current APOR list has been expanded to also include the following:

  • Returning or repatriated overseas Filipino workers 
  • Overseas Filipinos returning to their place of residence
  • Individuals transported through the efforts of the national government

Age requirements

Previous guidelines say that people ages 20 and below and 61 and up must stay at home. from Under the new mandate, individuals ages 15 to 65 years old are allowed to travel. LGUs, however, may impose limits on minors depending on their discretion. 

The IATF also notes that those with “immunodeficiency, comorbidity or other health risks, and/ or are pregnant” should still stay at home, regardless of age. 

Public transportation

Instead of keeping a distance of one meter during public commutes, passengers must now only observe one seat apart. 

Rail capacities have also been increased to 30 to 50 percent.

The operation of motortaxis and ride-hailing services like Angkas and Joyride is still under consideration. If resumed, barriers may be required according to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año. Passengers are encouraged to bring their own helmets. If personal helmets are not available, helmets provided by motortaxis must be disinfected. 


Special events and activities in malls are allowed to help boost mall attendance, provided DTI and IATF guidelines are followed.

Curfew hours

Malacañang says that curfew hours may be shortened and also urges LGUs to exempt employees who are APORs


Four and 5-star hotels are now allowed to receive guests of all ages, as long as they have the Certificate of Authority to Operate (COA) from the Department of Tourism (DOT). Tourists must only be from GCQ and MGCQ areas.

As well, some provinces, islands, and cities have started reopening and catering to guests. These include Boracay, Tagaytay, Baguio, and Ilocos Norte. 

Based on the agreement by the IATF and DOT, all tourists must comply with the “Test before travel” policy. Individuals are required to undergo a RT-PCR test 48-72 hours before they travel to a destination and receive a negative test result.

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