All cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria in the entire country will be off limits to the public from October 29 to November 4, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced Friday, September 18.
This is seen as a measure to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus on All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days when many flock to gravesites.
While burial places will be closed during Undas week, Filipinos—including senior citizens and children—who wish to visit their departed loved ones may still do so before and after the closure, following government regulations.
Roque earlier noted the importance of the yearly observance for the dead in the Philippines.
“Naniniwala naman po ako na importante sa mga Filipino ang Undas. Ito naman po iyong tanging araw na isinantabi natin para alalahanin iyong mga mahal natin sa búhay,” he said.
According to the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, persons of up to 30% of a cemetery’s capacity will be allowed to visit from September 17 to October 28 and from November 5 to November 15.
The government has also mandated the use of face masks and face shields when visiting cemeteries and columbaria.
Malacañang’s announcement supersedes the previous decision of local government units to close cemeteries on various dates.