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QC allows religious gatherings under strict conditions

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QC allows religious gatherings under strict conditions

QUEZON City Mayor Josefina “Joy” Belmonte issued guidelines on the holding of religious gatherings that started today, Saturday, to prevent community transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

She ordered the city’s 142 barangay chairmen, the Quezon City Police District, as well as the Law and Order Cluster, to disseminate and ensure compliance of the guidelines.

She told The Manila Times in a text message that inspection of venues for religious gatherings all over the city have started.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) allowed religious activities in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) up to 10 percent of the seating capacity.
“The city government recognizes the importance of worship and religion among Filipino people especially during this pandemic,” said Belmonte, who now works from home after she tested positive for Covid-19 early last week.

Under the guidelines, which are consistent with the amended IATF policies, only persons between 21 to 59 years old will be allowed to attend any religious gathering.

Those below 21 years old and 60 years old and above and with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women are advised to stay home.

Belmonte said proper social distancing must also be strictly exercised in all religious venues and all forms of physical touch are prohibited and all attendees are required to wear face masks.

“If any religious practice necessitates the removal of the face mask or face covering, this shall be done quickly and put back in place immediately,” Belmonte said.

If practicable, only one entrance and exit point will be assigned where thermal scanning will be conducted upon entry and hand sanitizing upon entry and exit, she said.

Individuals with temperature exceeding 37.5 degrees Celsius will not be allowed to enter the venue and must be isolated at an appropriate location in the venue, pending initial investigation by the barangay or health center.

Belmonte also encouraged attendees to engage in frequent hand-washing and the regular disinfection of high-touch objects, such as door handles, microphones, tables and chairs.