The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has recommended placing Metro Manila under general community quarantine (GCQ) from June 1 to June 15, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed Thursday.

“For Metro Manila, ang recommendation is GCQ except high-risk barangays categorized under ‘critical zones,’ which will be put under lockdown,” Año said in a CNN Philippines interview.

Año added that mayors could recommend lockdowns on “critical zones” or areas with two or more cases of Covid-19.

Metro Manila is “very contiguous,” making the region’s 17 mayors’ recommendation for uniformity valid, he said.

The zoning concept, according to Covid-19 response czar Carlito Galvez Jr., may be implemented in the whole country in June.

The concept will lift strict lockdown rules on areas with no cases of Covid-19, and will allow more businesses and establishments to open to help restart the economy.

On Tuesday, the Metro Manila Council unanimously voted for the National Capital Region to shift to GCQ to “jumpstart the economy” while still prioritizing public health.

READ: Metro Manila mayors recommend shift to GCQ, with selective lockdowns, by June

READ: MMDA: Mayors’ recommendation of GCQ transition balances economy, health

The region has been under the stringent modified enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) since May 16.

Malacañang said the official decision would be announced by President Rodrigo Duterte in an address to the nation tonight. John Ezekiel J. Hirro