The Quezon City government has allowed the holding of religious activities starting July 11 under strict conditions to prevent the community transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) recently allowed religious activities in general community quarantine (GCQ) areas up to 10 percent of the seating capacity.
In a memorandum dated July 9, 2020, Mayor Joy Belmonte has set guidelines on the holding of religious gatherings to thwart the spread of the deadly virus.
“Kinikilala ng pamahaalang lungsod ang kahalagahan ng pananampalataya at relihiyon sa ating mga Pilipino, lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemic,” said Belmonte.
“Hinihingi ko ang pang-unawa ng lahat dahil kailangan nating maglagay ng mahigpit na mga patakaran upang maiwasan ang anumang aberya sa hinaharap,” she added.
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.
“Proper social distancing must also be strictly exercised in all religious venues,” Belmonte said, adding that 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 pointed out.
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.
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 handwashing and the regular disinfection of high-touch objects, such as door handles, microphones, tables and chairs.
The lady Mayor ordered all barangay chairmen, the Quezon City Police District and the Law and Order Cluster to disseminate and ensure compliance of the guidelines.
Concerned city government offices have started inspecting venues of religious gatherings in Quezon City to ensure their compliance to the guidelines.