A “no sail zone” will take effect starting 12 a.m. March 15, Sunday banning passenger ships and maritime vessels from traveling to and from Metro Manila, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The announcement was released by PCG Commandant Admiral Joel Garcia on Saturday, encouraging Metro Manila residents to postpone their trips to Visayas and Mindanao.

Cargo vessels containing food and other necessities will still be allowed to enter the territory. Crew members working on the said ships will have to undertake health protocols as part of safety precautions.

The regulation has already been deliberated with various shipping companies, wherein they committed to contribute their part to combat the spread of COVID-19.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday declared a ‘community quarantine’ in Metro Manila to fight and contain the infectious COVID-19 disease. Under this order, work in the executive department, classes, and domestic travel are suspended.  (RJ Espartinez)