Traffic > Decree

So, can you still go out and drive your car?

President Duterte has just provided the answer

No track days, no club meets and no road trips for now in all of Luzon. Stay put. PHOTO BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

Unless you’ve been sleeping the whole day, you likely already know that the previous general community quarantine imposed upon the National Capital Region has just been elevated to a wider and more stringent “enhanced community quarantine” for the whole of Luzon, which is effective until April 12, 2020. A big part of this change is the shutdown of public transportation, which means everyone is seriously being required to stop moving. Forget about the 1m social-distancing rule and the 8pm-to-5am curfew: DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE, PERIOD.

In the words of Karlo Nograles, the newly appointed spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force in charge of the quarantine: “The rule of thumb is stay home.”

Makes sense. If there are no public-utility vehicles plying our respective routes, what’s the point of going out? But what about private motorists who own cars? Can they still go out and drive around?

In a long-winded speech recorded earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte provided the answer.

Did you watch the announcement of the President? He begged all of us to stay home. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

According to the President, you may still go out but only to get basic commodities and supplies, like food and medicine. During the quarantine period, supermarkets and drugstores will be open. Many restaurants will also be open, but only for drive-through and delivery orders.

Also, if you’re getting food or medicine, you may only do so alone (or one errand person per household). You cannot bring your spouse with you and go for a quick joyride along the way. We imagine you will be stopped by the police if you violate this rule.

So there. Stay home. Only go out if it is absolutely necessary (that is, to fetch important supplies). Let’s all just cooperate and stay off the road. It’s the only way we can beat the coronavirus.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.