The Philippines tightens coronavirus curbs on travel and gatherings amid Covid spike

Instead of a hard lockdown, the Philippines introduces additional restrictions including night curfews and the prohibition of mass gatherings as the country battles a renewed surge in Covid-19 infections.

The Philippines will expand tighter Covid-19 rules to incorporate four provinces surrounding the capital Manila, and restrict visits and from these areas for two weeks beginning on Monday because the country battles a renewed surge in infections.

The restrictions currently in effect in Metropolitan Manila also will be imposed within the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, including night curfews and therefore the prohibition of mass gatherings, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Sunday.

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Only essential visits and from the capital region and therefore the four provinces, which Roque called the bubble area, are going to be allowed.

"This isn't hard lockdown," he said during a virtual briefing "But we've additional restrictions."

Gatherings are going to be allowed for weddings, baptisms, and funeral services, but limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Travel will remain unimpeded within the bubble area but only individuals 18-65 years old are allowed outdoors.

Travel to and from the bubble area is restricted to health and emergency frontline services personnel, officialdom and government frontline personnel, persons traveling for medical and humanitarian reasons, and people getting to the airport to travel abroad.

Restaurants will remain open but just for delivery, take-out, and outdoor dining services.

The Philippines recorded 7,757 additional Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the second-highest single-day increase within the Southeast Asian country and marks the third straight day confirmed new cases topped 7,000.

Total recorded cases within the Philippines had risen to 663,794 while confirmed deaths had reached 12,968, among the very best in Asia.

The health department urged the general public to make sure adherence to minimum public health standards, which incorporates the wearing of masks even reception when not alone.

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