IATF MECQ Protocols as of Latest Omnibus Guidelines in May 2021

Below are the Philippine national government guidelines on the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) classification based on the latest IATF Omnibus Guidelines released last May 20, 2021. Once the IATF rules that your region/city/municipality shall be under MECQ, the LGUs are required to follow suit. LGUs may make additional restrictions to the IATF guidelines.

For areas placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), they must observe the following:

  1. Comply with the minimum public health standards (mask, wash/disinfect, social distance)
  2. The movement of all persons shall be limited to accessing goods and services from permitted establishments, for work in such establishments, or for such other activities allowed in this section.
  3. Any person below eighteen (18) years old, those who are over sixty-five (65) years of age, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women shall be required to remain in their residences at all times, except for obtaining essential goods and services, or for work in industries and offices or such other activities permitted in this Section.

All establishments, persons, or activities permitted to operate, work, or be undertaken during ECQ (below Allowed Establishments) shall be allowed to operate at full on-site capacity. View ECQ Guidelines here.

These guidelines are general, harmonized guidelines from IATF (National Government). It is best to wait and read on the final guidelines issued by your LGU. The LGU usually adopts these IATF guidelines and adds additional restrictions.

Allowed Establishments

  1. Only the following establishments, persons, or activities are allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken for the duration of the ECQ:
    1. With full on-site capacity:
      1. Public and private hospitals;
      2. Health, emergency, and frontline services, including those provided by dialysis centers, chemotherapy centers, HMOs, health insurance providers, disaster risk reduction management officers, and public safety officers, and the like;
      3. Manufacturers of medicines and vitamins, medical supplies, devices, and equipment, including suppliers of input, packaging, and distribution;
      4. Industries involved in agriculture (crops, fruits, vegetables, livestock, and poultry), forestry, fishery, and such other components of the food value chain and their workers, including farmers and fisherfolks;
      5. Logistics service providers (delivery and courier services; cargo handling; warehousing; trucking; freight forwarding; shipping, port and terminal operators);
      6. Essential and priority construction projects, whether public or private, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH);
      7. Manufacturing related to food and other essential goods such as but not limited to soap and detergents, diapers, personal hygiene products, toilet paper, and wet wipes, and disinfectants;
      8. Companies that manufacture, distribute, and/or supply equipment or products necessary to perform construction or maintenance works, such as cement and steel, or spare parts;
      9. Essential retail trade and service establishments such as public markets, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies or drug stores, hardware, office supplies, bicycle shops, laundry shops, and water-refilling stations;
      10. Food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants, and eateries, but limited to take-out and delivery;
      11. Public and private financial service providers involved in the distribution of government grants and amelioration subsidies; and
      12. Business process outsourcing establishments (BPOs), and export-oriented businesses, including mining and quarrying activities; and
        xiii. Public transport providers and operators.
    2. At a maximum of fifty percent (50%) on-site capacity:
      1. Media establishments and their total permanent staff complement, inclusive of reporters and other field employees.
    3. With an on-site skeleton workforce:
      1. Dental, rehabilitation, optometry, and other medical clinics for the treatment of illness or injuries. Provided, that there is strict observance of infection prevention and control protocols. Provided, further, that dental procedures shall be limited to emergency cases only and that the wearing of full Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) by dentists and attendants shall be mandatory. Provided, finally, that home service therapy for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) shall be allowed;
      2. Veterinary clinics;
      3. Banks, money transfer services, including pawnshops only insofar as performing money transfer functions, microfinance institutions, and credit cooperatives, including their armored vehicle services, if any;
      4. Capital markets, including but not limited to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Securities and Exchange Commission, Philippine Stock Exchange, Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corporation, Philippine Securities Settlement Corporation, and Philippine Depository and Trust Corporation;
      5. Water supply and janitorial/sanitation services and facilities, including waste disposal services, as well as property management and building utility services;
      6. The energy sector (oil, gas, and power companies), their third-party contractors and service providers, including employees involved in electric transmission and distribution, electric power plant and line maintenance, electricity market and retail suppliers, as well as those involved in the exploration, operations, trading and delivery of coal, oil, crude or petroleum and by-products (gasoline, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas, jet oil, kerosene, lubricants), including gasoline stations, refineries, and depots or any kind of fuel used to produce electricity;
      7. Telecommunications companies, internet service providers, cable television providers, including those who perform indirect services such as the technical, sales, and other support personnel, as well as the employees of their third-party contractors doing sales, installation, maintenance, and repair works;
      8. Airline and aircraft maintenance, pilots and crew, and employees of aviation schools for purposes of the pilot’s recurrent training for flight proficiency and type rating using simulator facilities; and ship captains and crew, including shipyard operations and repair;
      9. Funeral and embalming services;
      10. Security personnel licensed by the PNP – Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies;
      11. Printing establishments authorized by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and other government agencies to print accountable forms and other security documents;
      12. Establishments engaged in repair and maintenance of machinery and equipment, for households and essential permitted establishments;
      13. Establishments engaged in repair and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized vehicles, including the sale of spare parts;
      14. Leasing of real and personal properties;
      15. Employment activities that involve the recruitment and placement for permitted sectors;
      16. Teachers, professors and other staff for purposes of conducting online/offline, and flexible classes, completion of grades, and processing of student credentials, requirements and documents;
      17. Lawyers who will provide legal representation necessary to protect rights of persons as well as legal services for permitted establishments; and
      18. All other establishments, to the extent necessary for the buying and selling of consumer goods or services via the internet.

5. All establishments, persons, or activities not permitted to operate, work, or be undertaken during ECQ shall be allowed to operate at fifty percent (50%) on-site capacity while encouraging work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements, where applicable.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, and without prejudice to the authority of DTI to issue a negative list of industries which shall remain prohibited even in areas under MECQ, the following establishments, persons, or activities shall not be permitted to operate, work, or be undertaken during MECQ:

a. Entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas;
b. Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues;
c. Amusement parks or theme parks, fairs/peryas, kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides;
d. Outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports, scrimmages, games, or activities;
e. Indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools;
f. Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except for the draws conducted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office;
g. Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits;
h. Outdoor tourist attractions;
i. Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions;
j. Personal care services which include beauty salons, beauty parlors, medical
aesthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, make-up salons, nail spas, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness, and holistic centers, and other similar establishments; acupuncture and electrocautery establishments, and massage therapy including sports therapy establishments. It also includes establishments providing tanning services, body piercings, tattooing, and similar services. Home service for these activities are likewise not permitted; and
k. Indoor dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants, and eateries.

Government Agencies / Departments

  1. Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall be fully operational, with a skeleton workforce on-site and the remainder under alternative work arrangements as approved by the head of agency unless a greater on-site capacity is required in agencies providing health and emergency frontline services, laboratory and testing services, border control, or other critical services, in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations issued by the CSC.
  2. The co-equal or independent authority of the legislature (Senate and the House of Representatives), the judiciary (the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals, Sandiganbayan, and the lower courts), the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Constitutional Commissions, to implement any alternative work arrangements, is recognized.
  3. Officials and employees of foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited by the DFA, whenever performing diplomatic functions and subject to the guidelines issued by the DFA, may operate with an on-site skeleton workforce.

Hotels and Accommodations

  1. Only hotels or accommodation establishments with valid DOT Accreditation shall be allowed to accommodate guests and clients for legitimate purposes under a state of a public health emergency. The operations of such hotels and accommodation establishments, as well as ancillary establishments within their premises such as restaurants, cafés, gyms, spas, function halls, and the like, shall be subject to guidelines issued by the DOT and the IATF. 

See Department of Tourism latest Administrative Order 2021-004-A dated June 30, 2021 outlining guidelines for every Community Quarantine classification. Check also with your local Tourism office.


  1. Gatherings outside of residences shall be prohibited. Gatherings at residences with any person outside of one’s immediate household shall likewise be prohibited. However, gatherings that are essential for the provision of health services, government services, or humanitarian activities authorized by the appropriate government agency or instrumentality shall be allowed.Religious gatherings shall be allowed up to ten percent (10%) of the venue capacity. Provided, that, there is no objection from the local government unit where the religious gathering may take place. Provided, further, that the LGU may increase the allowable venue capacity up to thirty percent (30%). The religious denominations should strictly observe their submitted protocols and the minimum public health standards.Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed, provided that the same shall be limited to immediate family members, upon satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and with full compliance with the prescribed minimum public health standards for the duration of the activity.


  1. Face-to-face or in-person classes shall be suspended. The education sector shall operate in accordance with the guidelines of the CHED for higher education, TESDA for technical vocational education and training, DepEd for basic education.


  1. The road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation shall be allowed to operate at such capacity and protocols in accordance with guidelines issued by the DOTr. The use of active transportation such as biking is encouraged.

Law Enforcement

  1. Law enforcement agencies shall recognize any of the following IDs: (i) IATF IDs issued by the regulatory agencies with jurisdiction over permitted establishments or persons, (ii) valid IDs or other pertinent documentation issued by accrediting organizations or establishments allowed under ECQ, and, (iii) if required by the LGU, local IDs for availing of essential goods and services. No other IDs or passes specifically exempting persons from community quarantine shall be required of workers of permitted establishments and/or offices without prejudice to requiring the presentation of other documents establishing the nature of their work. 


  1. The movement of cargo/delivery vehicles, as well as vehicles used by public utility companies, shall be unhampered. Shuttle services of permitted establishments shall not be subject to an ID system but shall maintain compliance with minimum public health standards. 


  1. Private corporations are encouraged to process payrolls online. Payroll managers and such other employees required for the processing of payroll shall be allowed to travel to their respective offices during MECQ. 

Outdoor Exercises

  1. Individual outdoor exercises such as outdoor walks, jogging, running or biking, are allowed within the general area of their residence, e.g. within the barangay, purok, subdivision, and/or village. Provided, that the minimum public health standards and precautions such as the wearing of face masks, and the maintenance of social distancing protocols are observed.


  1. Uniform curfew hours may be imposed by LGUs, subject to the guidelines issued by the DILG. Workers, cargo vehicles, public transportation, and operating hours of permitted establishments, however, shall not be restricted by such curfew.

Any violation of the foregoing prohibitions shall constitute non-cooperation of the person or entities punishable under Section 9 par. (d) or (e), as the case may be, of Republic Act No. 11332, otherwise known as the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, and its Implementing Rules and

To view the original and signed IATF document click here. The above guidelines are general, harmonized guidelines from IATF (National Government). It is best to wait and read on the final guidelines issued by your LGU. The LGU usually adopts these IATF guidelines and adds additional restrictions.

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