Just when you thought that traveling is now easier than ever since the lockdown, the Inter-Agency Task Force for Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has endorsed the implementation of new guidelines and regulations, including the new term Metro Manila+ or NCR+ to combat the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases all across the metro.
What exactly is Metro Manila+ or NCR+, the new term brought about by the IATF to explain the current travel restrictions? To put it simply, it’s all the cities inside the National Capital Region (NCR) plus certain regions like Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna. Because of how commerce and the livelihood of people around the NCR, many people who work inside the capital live in its periphery or in the provinces right beside it. Essentially the government is prohibiting anyone who is not within the Metro Manila+ bubble to enter or exit it and vice versa. Travelling for leisure outside of the bubble is strictly prohibited until Easter Sunday, April 4. Exactly two weeks from now.
Another thing to look out for under the new IATF guidelines and regulations is the curfew. It now applies to NCR Plus, from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM. Only essential workers, cargo vehicles, and public transport operators are allowed during the curfew hours. In addition, traditional cinemas, interactive game arcades, libraries, museums, cultural centers, and even driving schools are temporarily suspended.
However, with the recent implementation, it doesn’t mean that recreation is totally impossible. Tagaytay, for example, is still accessible coming from Manila since it is part of Cavite. Al fresco dining is still allowed although limited to 50% capacity. Even open-air tourist attractions are still allowed. The Department of Tourism (DOT) encourages you to travel responsibly though.
Lastly, never hesitate to cancel non-essential travel especially during this surge. This shouldn’t be a problem because according to the Department of Tourism, travelers who booked trips scheduled in the upcoming two weeks, including Holy Week, will be able to reschedule their flights and hotel reservations without any trouble.