Manila's new Covid lockdown only for the unvaxxed: stay home or go to jail

As Covid suddenly surges in the Phillipines' Metro Manila area, which has a population of 14 million, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a lockdown — but only for the unvaccinated.

And any unvaxxed individual — whether a resident or traveler — who breaks the stay-at-home order could face up to six months in jail.

"Despite the availability of vaccines, there is a number of individuals who adamantly opt not to be vaccinated and thus become more susceptible to severe cases of COVID-19 infection, which will in turn require hospital care, thereby unduly burdening the health care system to the detriment of public health," said Metro Manila's governing council, according to Politico.

From Politico:

Under the order, unvaccinated people must stay at home except to buy essential goods or for medical purposes. They are banned from all restaurants, malls, hotels and all other leisure establishments. They can't take public transportation, and they'll have to be tested for COVID-19 every two weeks—at their own expense—to be allowed at on-site jobs. Violators will be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both.

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated people may move about freely, with the onus on establishments to limit their capacities to just 30 percent when indoors and 50 percent when outdoors. Only close-contact activities such as classes and karaoke singing are prohibited for them.

The new order will last until at least January 15, but could be extended if positive Covid cases haven't yet subsided.