- People aged 15-65 free to leave home
- Mall events okayed
Malacañang said Filipinos wishing to travel abroad considered as non-essential trip could leave the country starting October 21, as it also allows people aged 15 to 65 years to go out of their homes even during community quarantine.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said IATF-EID lifted the ban on non-essential outbound travel of Filipinos but with several requirements to meet.
“Filipinos intending to travel abroad as tourists must have adequate travel and health insurance,” he said, adding Filipino outbound travelers must submit confirmed roundtrip tickets and negative antigen test results for COVID-19.”
He also said they need an immigration declaration acknowledging the risks involved in traveling and a negative Antigen result taken within 24 hours before departure, subject to the DOH guidelines.
Sales, marketing events
Malls and other business establishments may now hold sales and other marketing events to spur consumer activity amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, Malacañang said.
“Establishments and malls may hold activities to spur economic or business activity. These are sale events but they would still be subject to Department of Trade and Industry guidelines on the operation of malls and shopping malls,” Roque said.
Promotional events inside malls would be allowed in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
Travel agencies and tour operators are now allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity in areas under GCQ and at full capacity in areas under modified GCQ subject to mandatory minimum health protocol.
The directive took effect Friday based on Memorandum Circular 20-53 issued on October 14, 2020 by the DTI.
The DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau will monitor the compliance of industry members together with regional or provincial offices through a post-audit mechanism.
Teens and young adults from age 15 up are now allowed mobility outside of homes as well as senior citizens from age 60 to 65.
“Except in hotspot areas where LGUs can limit allowed age range to 18 to 65 years old. Of course, the workers or business people are allowed outside,” said Lopez.
He also called on LGUs to remove or ease up curfew policies, without sacrificing enforcement of health protocols, to generate more jobs and income opportunities.
The Philippines logged on Friday 3,139 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 351,750, the Department of Health reported.
The DOH likewise announced 786 recoveries. This brings the total number of recoveries to 294,865.
Of the 3,139 reported cases, 2,023 (64 percent) occurred within the recent 14 days from October 3 to October 16, 2020.
The DOH also reported 34 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 6,531.
Health experts are planning to test a drug for cancer treatment as a possible cure for COVID-19 after earlier clinical trials on HIV and malaria drugs showed little effects in treating the respiratory illness.
The DOH said on Friday the World Health Organization had included acalabrutinib in its clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments
“About two weeks ago, acalabrutinib was included by WHO. This is a chemotherapeutic regimen,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.
The drug, however, has yet to arrive in the Philippines.
A House leader on Friday appealed to Congress to allocate at least P20 billion for the procurement of a Covid-19 vaccine next year if the government is aiming to vaccinate an initial 20 million poor Filipinos.
“That means an average of P1,000 per Filipino to be inoculated. Health professionals are saying one would need two to three doses to fight the infectious new coronavirus. If that is so, P1,000 would translate to P500 per dose, if two doses are needed, and P333, if three doses are required,” Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor said
The chairman of the House committee on public accounts added the P2.5 billion included in the proposed 2021 national budget for COVID-19 vaccine procurement “is just a small fraction of what the government needs to vaccinate an initial target of 20 million poor Filipinos.”
He said assuming the vaccine would cost P500 per dose and one would require two doses, the P2.5 billion in next year’s budget would be good only for 2.5 million Filipinos.