On paper, it may look like the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Talisay have re-imposed measures to limit the number of people in public places in response to the continuing rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Metro Cebu and Cebu Province.
Both local government units (LGUs) announced that they will strictly require residents to carry a quarantine pass when in public. Unless, of course, they are authorized persons outside residence. In that case, they are exempt.
The requirement, though, has always been there since the pandemic struck in the end of March last year, when the whole of Cebu scrambled to protect its citizens from a then unknown disease that was highly infectious and potentially fatal.
It remained when the whole island eased restrictions as it transitioned to modified general community quarantine in the latter part of 2020.
The public, though, could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
At the start of the Christmas holiday, authorities tended to look the other way while people disregarded the ban on mass gathering or violated the social distancing policy.
Things were beginning to look a lot normal as traffic resumed and people were back on the streets going about their business.
It was a break that both the government and the people needed after the pandemic upended everyone’s lives, wreaking havoc on the local economy that resulted in the shutdown of many businesses and the loss of employment for thousands of workers.
What the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Talisay and other LGUs in the metro are doing right now are strictly enforcing existing guidelines to try and contain the virus after having dropped their guard during the holiday.
Lapu-Lapu City might have revived the number coding scheme for motorists, while Talisay City will once again implement a market schedule starting Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, but there have been no talks of resorting to much drastic measures like placing both cities and the rest of the metro on lockdown.
And there shouldn’t be.
In December, local health authorities had told the public to brace for the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and, at the same time, assured that they had the situation under control.
So what is causing the alarm?
The cities of Lapu-Lapu and Talisay must realize that this is the new normal. Until the threat of the coronavirus is eliminated, the number of cases will fluctuate. They should keep this in mind. After all, there are other pressing matters to attend to.