NCR under Alert Level 4 Sept. 16-30 for granular lockdown tests
MANILA, Philippines (Updated)— Metro Manila will be placed under Alert Level 4 starting Sept. 16 until Sept. 30, which is the start of the pilot run of granular lockdowns, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday.
Año said Metro Manila mayors have agreed to implement just one alert level as a whole “for uniformity and easier enforcement.”
“Yes, under Alert Level 4 because the NCR (National Capital Region) mayors reached a consensus that they will follow one Alert Level only,” he said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
“For uniformity and easier enforcement within NCR, they agreed to be under Level 4. Hanggang Sept. 30 ang pilot testing,” he added.
Año said the majority of areas in the metro belong to Alert Level 4, anyway, but some qualify for Alert Level 5 while at least two areas under Alert Level 3.
Based on the new guidelines on granular lockdowns, areas under Alert Level 4, which is the second highest alert level in the new system, are those with high and/or increasing COVID-19 transmission and high total bed and intensive care unit utilization rates.
Persons aged below 18 and above 65 and those with health risks, including pregnant women, must stay at home unless they need to access essential goods and services or have to go to work.
Intrazonal and interzonal travel for persons who are not required to stay at their homes may be allowed subject to guidelines of their destination local government unit.
Individual outdoor exercises are likewise allowed in areas under Alert Level 4 for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status, but they must remain within the area of their residence.
Government agencies in areas placed under Alert Level 4 must remain fully operational while employing at least 20 percent on-site capacity with the rest under a work-from-home or flexible schedule scheme.
Under Alert Level 4, outdoor dine-in services in restaurants and eateries are only allowed at 30 percent venue capacity.
Meanwhile, indoor dine-in services are allowed to open at 10 percent capacity, but they may only cater to persons fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
All workers of these establishments must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Furthermore, LGUs may decrease the allowable capacity for these restaurants and eateries.
Personal care services limited to barbershops, hair spas, nail spas, and beauty salons are allowed at 30 percent capacity “if such services are conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status.” But if these are indoors, the IATF said they may only operate at 10 percent capacity.
Clients must also wear face masks at all times and all employees should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Religious gatherings, meanwhile, can be held on 30 percent venue capacity if conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status but only 10 percent will be allowed if conducted indoors and they may only accommodate persons fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, or other religious ministers and the assistants of these religious congregations must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and must observe minimum public health standards.
Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 are allowed as long as it is limited to the immediate family members.
Originally published Sept 14, 2021 at 09:20 a.m.