Violators in Philippines’ capital Manila can expect to be fined, jailed, or both
Authorities in the Philippines’ capital of Manila have banned the unvaccinated from leaving their homes save for buying essentials, going to work and doing exercise. Violators will face heavy fines or jail time.
On January 3, the decision was made that affects 14 million Metro Manila residents. According to the new rules, anyone who has not had two doses Covid vaccine must stay at home. Only a handful of exceptions will be granted, including buying essentials and seeking medical assistance, as well as going to work and exercising outside their residence. Covid tests are required for all office workers every two weeks. These tests may cost as much as $100 in certain cases.
Places now off-limits for the unvaccinated include cafés, restaurants, and shopping malls, as well as all modes of public transport. Anyone found violating the rules could face a fine of up to $1,000 and even imprisonment for six months. Media reports indicate that violators could face jail and a fine.
However, the restrictions will continue to be in force until at least January 15. If there is an increase in infections, that time may be extended.
Metro Manila authorities explained the need for tougher measures by saying that “There are many people who, despite the fact that vaccines are readily available, refuse to get vaccinated.” with the unvaccinated eventually ending up “Overburdening the healthcare system in a way that is detrimental to public health.”
Some Filipinos have taken to social media to vent their frustration at the authorities’ decision, with one user, for instance, branding the new regulations as a “It is a pure act.”
Close to 70% of the metropolis’ residents are already vaccinated against Covid, yet the area saw a huge spike in cases last month, going from 24 on December 12 all the way to 2,600 on December 30.
The world’s unvaccinated are also being targeted. In Austria, for example, people who had not received vaccination against Covid in November were placed in lockdown. Vaccination became mandatory in February. Violators can face severe penalties. German officials are also considering following suit.