Religious gatherings in areas under modified general community quarantine will be permitted but only 50 percent of seats may be occupied, according to the latest omnibus guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“Mass gatherings such as but not limited to, movie screenings, concerts, sporting events and other entertainment activities, community assemblies and non-essential work gatherings shall be allowed provided that participants shall be limited to fifty percent (50%) of the venue or seating capacity. Religious gatherings shall be allowed under such guidelines as may be declared through subsequent issuances of the IATF,” it read.

Religious gatherings in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) are limited to not more than ten persons, while those under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) are limited to not more than five persons, until otherwise modified through subsequent issuances of the IATF.

Manila Apostolic Administrator Broderick Pabillo previously said that restrictions on religious gatherings were “laughable,” as the guidelines only allowed up to five or 10 people at a time in areas under relaxed quarantine measures.

Religious activities are prohibited in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Only gatherings that are “for the provision of critical government services and authorized humanitarian activities while adhering to the prescribed minimum health standards” shall be allowed under ECQ, MECQ and GCQ. John Ezekiel J. Hirro