NCR eased to Alert Level 2 starting Nov. 5 | Inquirer News
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NCR eased to Alert Level 2 starting Nov. 5

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 09:47 PM November 04, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila will be placed under a more relaxed Alert Level 2 starting Friday, Nov. 5 until Nov. 21, Malacañang announced Thursday.

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Alert Level 2 means more relaxed quarantine restrictions as well as more businesses permitted to resume operations.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the national government’s pandemic task force, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF), approved the relaxing of restrictions in the national capital region on Thursday.

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Roque earlier said there is a “big possibility” that Metro Manila will be eased to Alert Level 2 before the holidays, but the government is still waiting for NCR’s COVID-19 average daily attack rate (ADAR) to reach 7% to warrant the easing of curbs.

Metro Manila was initially maintained under Alert Level 3 until Nov. 14

The IATF also approved the recommendation to base alert level assignments on data that is nearest to the implementation date, Roque said.

He added that starting Dec. 1, alert level assignments shall be determined at every 15th and 30th of the month.

“Escalations, on the other hand, 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,” Roque said in a statement.

The National Task Force against COVID-19, along with regional task forces and regional IATFs, are also tasked to provide weekly feedback on the progress and implementation on all areas under the government’s new alert level system.

Businesses have been calling to relax restrictions in Metro Manila to allow them to expand their operations and recover amid the pandemic.

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Independent pandemic monitor Octa Research group has backed calls to place NCR under Alert Level 2, saying it is ready for more relaxed restrictions considering that all its 16 cities and lone municipality are at low risk of experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections.

As early as Oct. 28, some Metro Manila mayors expressed readiness should the metropolis be eased to Alert Level 2.

According to the initial guidelines of the IATF on the alert level system, the following establishments or activities are allowed to operate at a maximum of 50 percent on-site or venue capacity (except for those in areas under a granular lockdown):

  • indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits
  • indoor venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE)
  • indoor entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas
    amusement parks or theme parks, fairs (peryas), kid amusement venues such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie ride places
  • indoor recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues
  • indoor limited face to face or in-person classes, examinations, and other education-related activities at all levels
  • casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments
  • in-person religious gatherings
  • gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19
  • social events such as, but not limited to, concerts and parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers, and gatherings at residences with any person outside of one’s immediate household
  • indoor dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants, and eateries
  • indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools
  • personal care services which include beauty salons, beauty parlors, medical aesthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, make-up salons, nail spas, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness, and holistic centers, and other similar establishments; acupuncture and electrocautery establishments, and massage therapy including sports therapy establishments

Other establishments or activities in areas not included in the list above and are not covered by granular lockdowns may operate at 100% on-site or venue/seating capacity provided minimum public health standards are adhered to.

Roque said the IATF has amended the guidelines of the alert level system, to “clarify the allowed movement of persons under varying alert levels.”

Malacañang has yet to release a copy of the updated guidelines.

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