(Photo courtesy of QC Government Facebook)

MANILA – Activities traditionally done during fiesta celebrations and other religious festivities are temporarily banned in Quezon City amid the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.

In Memorandum No. 02-22 published on Friday, the city government detailed the prohibited activities as well as the exceptions and the guidelines to be followed.

Dahil inaasahan na natin ang mga pagtitipon sa mga piyesta, Chinese New Year at iba pang pagdiriwang sa mga susunod na buwan, minabuti na nating kumilos agad upang maiwasan na ang mass gatherings na posibleng pag-ugatan ng pagkalat ng (Because we are already expecting fiestas and other gatherings such as Chinese New Year next month, we decided to act now to prevent mass gatherings that may cause a further spike of) Covid-19,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement.

Among the prohibited activities are processions, parades, Santacruzan as well as public celebrations involving mass gatherings like fairs, perya (fair), variety shows, fireworks displays, Ati-Atihan, and other public performances.

Public games; contests such as pageants, singing or band contests; bingo; traditional fiesta games and tournaments, or group contact sports such as basketball are similarly prohibited.

Public buffets, boodle fights, and the like; public drinking, including drinking outdoors or on sidewalks, etc. and group videoke or other celebratory gatherings that violate social distancing are also not allowed.

Drinking is allowed at home, inside restaurants or establishments subject to health protocols.

The city government also bans noise pollution or nuisances due to excessive merrymaking, and large parties that involve various households.

Belmonte said that modest celebrations done within the home and only among immediate households are allowed, as well as masses and religious solemnities like house or establishment blessings provided that security marshals are deployed to assure observance of minimum health protocols.

Celebrations conducted for online audiences are likewise allowed.

“The conduct of Dragon Dance or Lion Dance activities to observe and celebrate the forthcoming Chinese New Year shall be allowed provided that the same shall be held in one designated area only, cordoned off from the general public,” the memorandum stated.

Religious institutions were also reminded to ensure other health protocols such as vaccination requirements, venue capacity, conduct of vendors, separate entrance and exit points, frequent disinfection, and restrictions in the movement of attendees who should all be fully vaccinated.

Belmonte directed the Quezon City Police District, the city’s Law and Order Cluster, village officials, and other regulatory departments to strictly enforce the latest guidelines that shall remain in force during the effective period of Alert Level 3 and higher levels in the city. (PNA)