COVID-19 quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region are further eased after Malacañang announced it downgraded the region to a more relaxed Alert Level 2 status from Nov. 5 to Nov. 21.
In a statement released evening of Nov. 4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved the de-escalation of Metro Manila from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2.
The IATF resolution states that areas under Alert Level 2 are those where “case transmission is low and decreasing health utilization is low, or case counts are low but increasing, or case counts are low and decreasing but total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate is increasing.”
Under Alert Level 2, establishments or activities are allowed to operate at a maximum of 50% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, including those below 18 years old who are unvaccinated; and 70% outdoor venue capacity provided that all workers/employees of the establishments are fully vaccinated agains COVID-19. Minimum public health standards are still to be observed.
These establishments include:
• Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for basic (subject to approval of the Office of the President) and higher education
• Visitor or tourist attractions including libraries, museums, galleries, parks, etc.
• Dine-in services of food preparation establishments
• Personal care establishments including barbershops, spas and salons.
• Fitness studios, gyms and venues for individual non-contact exercise and sports
• In-person religious gatherings, gatherings for necrological services, funerals
• Contact sports approved by the LGU
• Amusement parks or theme parks
• Recreational venues including arcades, bowling alleys, swimming pools and the like
• Cinemas and movie houses
• Venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences including karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters
• Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household
• Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions
• Permitted venues for social events like parties, wedding receptions, bridal or baby showers, etc.
• Licensure or entrance/qualifying examinations and authorized specialty examinations
• Funfairs/perya or kid amusement industries like playgrounds, playroom and kiddie rides
• Film, music, and television production
Meanwhile, casinos, horse-racing, cockfighting, operation of cockpits, lotteries, betting shops, and other gaming establishments remain prohibited under Alert Level 2.
Government agencies will also remain fully operational with 50% on-site capacity while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements.
Roque also announced that starting Dec. 1, the alert level assignments will be determined at every 15th and 30th of the month. While escalations may be done at any time in the middle of the implementation period “as warranted while de-escalations can only be done at the end of the two-week assessment period.”
The spokesperson also said the IATF amended the guidelines on the implementation of Alert Levels System for COVID-19 Response in pilot areas to clarify the allowed movement of persons under varying alert levels.
Recently, the IATF also allowed public utility vehicles in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to increase its passenger capacity from 50% to 70% and then a gradual increase to 100%.
The Philippines has seen a decline in its daily COVID-19 cases after a surge of cases in August and September. As of Nov. 4, new confirmed COVID-19 cases are at 1,766 making the total number of cases in the country at 2,795,642.