Contact sports, concerts, stage plays, and fairs are now allowed.
Less than a week after it prolonged Metro Manila’s Alert Level 3 status, the Malacañang on Thursday proclaimed the inter-agency task force’s decision to “de-escalate” the capital region’s alert status to Level 2 starting November 5.
Through Resolution No. 147, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the shift in alert level in Metro Manila, which will take effect until November 21. This reverses an earlier proclamation made last November 1 which extended the metropolis’ Alert Level 3 until November 14.
Business operations further eased
With the de-escalation of the National Capital Region to a lower alert level come more relaxed restrictions, which offer relief to particular business sectors.
Under Alert Level 2, indoor and outdoor dining services are now allowed to operate at 50% capacity for indoor venues and 70% for outdoor venues. The same increase goes for the following businesses:
- fitness studios, gyms, and venues for non-contact exercise and sports
- venues for meetings, seminars, and exhibitions;
- cinemas and movie houses;
- personal care establishments such as barbershops, hair salons, massage parlors, and the like;
- amusement parks and theme parks;
- recreational venues such as internet cafés, billiard halls, bowling alleys, and the like;
- tourist attractions such as libraries, museums, galleries, parks, and the like;
Shuttered businesses reopen anew
Meanwhile, a lighter alert level also signals to long-closed businesses that they can finally welcome clients anew.
Owners of fitness studios and gyms which train in contact sports and exercises are now allowed to open at 50% capacity for indoor venues and 70% for outdoor venues. Other venues like those designated for live performers and audiences such as karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters, as well as venues catering to children such as fairs, playgrounds, and kiddie rides can likewise resume operations at the same capacity.
New rules on the alert level system
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the IATF has also approved the method of basing alert level assignments on data that is nearest to the implementation date.
The call to loosen the alert level status came just a day after the country logged a single-day COVID-19 caseload of 1,591 new cases, its lowest in eight months.
The IATF has also green-lit the implementation of agreed-upon alert levels every 15th and 30th of the month starting December 1. However, Roque also clarified that necessary escalations of alert levels may be “done at any time in the middle of the implementation as warranted.”
The group has also modified its criteria in assessing the success of the implementation of phase IV of the pandemic action plan. The IATF is now basing it on the following indices, per Rappler:
- “number of severe and critical cases per month, time gap from detection to isolation, and tests per case;”
- “for vaccine rollout, the indices are the total vaccines administered per capita, new vaccine doses administered per capita, and fully vaccinated individuals”;
- “and finally, for socioeconomic recovery, the purchasing manager’ index by IHS Markit, google mobility to retail and recreation, and number of commercial airline passengers.”
Although the Palace had earlier expanded the implementation of the alert level system to 25 more areas at the beginning of the month, the latest easing of alert level will only apply to Metro Manila, until further notice.
Art Daniella Sison