During the past few weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases has been on the rise. This has prompted the IATF to issue Resolution No. 104, which effectively placed NCR, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna on ‘stricter’ GCQ protocols which included certain travel restrictions.

Fearing that history will repeat itself, some commuters, as well as motorcycle riders expressed concern that they might get stranded in areas outside of the “NCR Plus” (or vice versa) and might not get to go home until after April 4, 2021.

The government has clarified that going home is considered as essential travel. During a recent virtual press conference hosted by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), government officials from various transport sectors have reiterated that going or returning home from outside the NCR Plus (NCR, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna) or vice versa will be considered as essential travel. Authorities manning the checkpoints should allow citizens to travel as long as they can present valid identification with their corresponding home address within NCR Plus.

For example, if you’re a motorcycle rider who just spent the weekend in Pangasinan, you should have no trouble returning home to Manila as it is considered as essential travel.

The same goes for those who are coming from NCR Plus areas but are returning to their homes outside of NCR Plus areas. The officials from the transport sector have also reminded commuters to check with their respective local government units for special protocols like RT-PCR tests or similar requirements, since these LGUs may want additional documents besides those required by the IATF.