Philippine cemeteries closed from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4
People light a candle at Manila North Cemetery on September 9, 2020.
The STAR/Edd Gumban
Philippine cemeteries closed from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4
( - September 18, 2020 - 12:53pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:09 p.m.) — All cemeteries and columbariums across the country will be closed for the coming "Undas" season amid concerns over mass gatherings as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Millions in the Catholic-majority Philippines will not be allowed to visit their departed loved ones in cemeteries, memorial parks and columbariums from October 29 to November 4, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced Friday.

The temporary closure of cemeteries was approved by the government’s inter-agency task force in a bid to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Roque said cemeteries will be opened but only with a limited capacity of 30% from September 17 to November 15, excluding the aforementioned dates.

“Ibig sabihin pwede tayong dumalaw bago isara at matapos isara ang mga sementeryo pero 30% ang capacity,” he said.

(We can visit before and after the closure of cemeteries but only at 30% capacity.)

The elderly and minors will be allowed to visit cemeteries and columbariums during this time. Visitors must wear face masks and face shields and practice physical distancing.

Manila City was among the first to order the closure of cemeteries during the "Undas" season to avoid crowding. 

The country's caseload reached over 276,000 with 4,785 deaths.

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