Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Manila (August 3, 2020)  

United States Embassy Manila, Philippines

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Manila (August 3, 2020)  

Location:  The Philippines

Event:   Metro Manila returns to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ); Classification for other areas remain per July 30 government announcement. 

Effective August 4, 2020, per Philippine President Duterte’s directive, the following areas will revert to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

  • Luzon – National Capital Region (Metro Manila), and provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan

Areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from August 1-15:

  • Luzon – Batangas
  • Visayas – Region 7: Cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue; and Cebu Province: Municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion
  • Mindanao- Zamboanga City

The rest of the country is under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ). 

For quarantine classification protocols and regulation, please visit https://www.covid19.gov.ph/.

Local Government Units (LGUs), i.e. cities and municipalities in the National Capital Region, may still have curfews in effect to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus.  Some provinces have implemented their own community quarantines.  Domestic travel (land, air, and sea) remains restricted. If you live in an area that has imposed a local curfew ordinance or similar community quarantine, please plan your activities and travel accordingly and monitor the relevant LGU’s website for their rules and regulations. ​

The temporary travel ban on arriving foreign nationals that was implemented on March 22, 2020 by the Philippine government is still in effect.  Please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs website here  and the Philippine Bureau of Immigration website for updates and advisories.

Please comply with local quarantine requirements and strictly follow local authorities.  Regardless of location, U.S. citizens are encouraged to continue to practice proper anti-virus safety protocols, such as frequent hand washing and social distancing.

Be Aware of Scams:

Most recently, the Department of Interior Local Government of Central Luzon warned of a scam involving callers posing as contact tracers. According to the DILG’s post, the scam involves a suspect calling a victim and telling them that they are a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. The suspect will refuse to divulge information on the alleged COVID-19 case, raising privacy laws.

The suspect then tells the victim that they need to get tested and asks for the victim’s mailing address, explaining that the alleged testing kit will be sent to the victim by mail. If the victim gives their address, the suspect will ask for the victim’s credit card details, claiming that the testing kit is worth USD 50 (PHP 2,453.10). If the victim refuses, the suspect will threaten the victim of penalties for not complying.

PSA notes that, under the expanded testing guidelines, PCR testing of close contacts of COVID-19 cases is covered by the government (up to a certain amount). Testing is also done in laboratories or proper healthcare settings by a licensed professional.

Actions to Take:

Assistance:

  • U.S. Embassy in the Philippines
    1201 Roxas Boulevard
    +63(2) 5301-2000, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
    After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(63)(2) 5301-2000
  • State Department–Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444.
  • State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Advisories, Alerts, and the Philippines Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.
  • Follow us on  Twitter and Facebook.