Cemeteries nationwide to be closed for âUndasâ
Photo taken on Sept. 17 shows the padlocked gate of the Tala Public Cemetery in Caloocan City. The IATF-EID has decided to allow a limited number of cemetery visitors during the weeks before and after Undas.
Ernie Peñaredondo
Cemeteries nationwide to be closed for ‘Undas’
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2020 - 12:00am

From Oct. 29 to Nov. 4

MANILA, Philippines — Even the dead will be quarantined from the living on All Souls’ and All Saints’ Days after the government ordered the mandatory closure of all cemeteries and columbariums nationwide from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4, to prevent the influx of massive crowds visiting the tombs of departed loved ones during the traditional holiday.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has issued Resolution No. 71, which prevents the public from observing All Souls’ and All Saints’ Days on the traditional dates this year due to the COVID pandemic.

“All private and public cemeteries and memorial parks, including columbariums and the like, throughout the country shall be closed to visitors from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4,” the IATF said in its order signed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, co-chairpersons of the task force.

“Provided, that, the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine shall continue to govern burial and cremation activities during the said period,” the resolution read.

The IATF is waiving the age limitations for the visits in both public and private cemeteries, as well as columbariums, which are allowed from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15, except on the prohibited dates.

“Age restrictions shall not apply to visitors of the aforementioned places,” the task force said.

To give the public appropriate time to observe the annual tradition that brings families to cemeteries, the IATF issued guidelines for visits that cover enforcement and following of health standards.?The number of visitors allowed will be at a maximum 30 percent of venue capacity, following protocol standards.

“The number of visitors shall be limited… with the wearing of face masks and face shields and  the observance of social distancing,” the IATF said.

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