The Philippines announced on Saturday, March 27, 2021, that almost 25 million people in the capital and neighboring provinces will be on lockdown on Holy Week, as COVID-19 cases in the country remain to surge. Stricter quarantine measures announced by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque apply to Metro Manila and four nearby provinces (Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) that have already been placed in a travel bubble to prevent the spread of the virus. “This will go with intensified prevention, detection, isolation, tracing, and rehabilitation that we will monitor on a daily basis,” Roque said. This imposition was due to the reported 9,839 new COVID-19 cases on March 27, its highest single-day record according to official state media Philippines News Agency. The lockdown started on March 29 and was initially planned to run until April 4, but President Rodrigo Duterte recently ordered on April 3, an extension by at least one week to try to curb the resurgent number of positive cases.

Enhanced community quarantine measures include a curfew from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m. Outdoor gatherings that exceed 10 attendants are strictly prohibited, and guests cannot join indoor/household functions. Only take-out and delivery services are also allowed for restaurants. Several officers were also deployed in checkpoint zones by the Philippine National Police (PNP). The country’s medical frontliners are currently receiving the initial doses of vaccines against the virus.