Religious gatherings in areas under general community quarantine would be allowed at 50% capacity beginning Monday, Malacañang announced.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which leads the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, has decided to further ease restrictions on religious gatherings in areas under GCQ.
Currently, places of worship in areas under GCQ are allowed to hold gatherings at 30% capacity.
“We see that our attack rate is not increasing and our hospitals and healthcare facilities are not overwhelmed,” Roque said, explaining the task force’s decision to further ease restrictions on religious gatherings.
Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, Batangas, Tacloban City, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Iligan City are all under GCQ, while the rest of the country is under the less restrictive modified GCQ where places of worship can also accept faithful at half of its capacity.
The government decided to ease restrictions amid the lingering threat of new coronavirus variants, some of which, including the B.1.1.7 variant which has already been detected in the country, are feared to be more infectious.
Other variants of concern have not been detected in the country, the Department of Health said.
The Philippines has the second-worst coronavirus outbreak in Southeast Asia following Indonesia, with over 540,000 cases and over 11,000 deaths.