DELTA JITTERS: City curfew back to 8 p.m. – 4 a.m.; stricter measures in the offing

Iloilo City frontline responders assist a COVID patient board an ambulance. The city is preparing stringent measures following assessment of a possible community transmission of the Delta variant. (Al Destacamento photo)

Curfew hours in Iloilo City will be adjusted to an earlier time as authorities implement strict measures amid the threats of the community transmission of the Delta variant.

Mayor Jerry Treñas announced on Saturday that the curfew will revert to 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. starting on Monday, August 23, 2021.

“We will revert to our curfew of 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. starting Monday. Other measures will be announced after consultations with the COVID team and the business groups. The DOH has announced that there might already be community transmission of the Delta variant. Halong lang kita anay,” he said.

Following his announcement, the mayor issued executive order (E.O.) No. 75-B an order amending Sec. 2 of E.O. No. 75 providing the guidelines for the adjusted curfew effective August 23 until August 31.

Under the EO, the curfew will be implemented from 8:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. from August 23 until 11:59 of August 31 except those working in business processing outsourcing (BPO), warehouses and logistics (and similar businesses), ports, arrastre, food manufacturing, storage and preservation, hospitals, media, and other similar business occupations that require employees to go work after curfew hours.

According to the mayor, they also received reports of city residents loitering outside their homes during wee hours which can possibly contribute to the increased rate of Covid-19 transmission.

“There have been reports whereby a significant number of people are seen congregating or loitering outside the safety of their homes even at late hours of the day which can very well contribute to an increased rate in transmission,” he said in the EO.

Treñas also sounded alarm over the presence of community transmission of the highly transmissible Delta variant as he stressed that the city is trying its best to manage the situation without resorting to a much stricter community quarantine.

“With the confirmation of Department of Health (DOH) that there might already be the presence of community transmission, we should really study all possible measures to protect our constituents. We need to protect the Ilonggos. We need to try to manage our situation without resorting to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) as much as possible. We need to allow our people to work so that they can have a living,” he said.

Currently, the city has been placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from August 16-31, 2021.

Under MECQ, food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants, and eateries are allowed to operate up to 50% for outdoor dine-in services and 10% for indoor dining.

Meanwhile, beauty salons, beauty parlors, barber shops and nail spas are also allowed to open and operate at 30% capacity.

Religious gatherings are limited to 10% of the capacity and wakes are allowed up to three days.

Banking hours are from 9 a.m. up to 2 p.m. (ERS)