NCR under Alert Level 3 from Jan. 3 to Jan. 15 — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila will be placed under the stricter Alert Level 3 starting Jan. 3 to 15 amid the “exponential” spike of COVID-19 cases in the region, Malacañang announced Friday.
Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles cited the spike of the cases as well as the detection of three local cases of the highly infectious Omicron COVID-19 variant in the decision to upgrade the region to the stricter alert level.
He said the spike of COVID-19 cases was due to the public’s increased mobility during the holiday season, the decreased compliance of minimum public health standards, and the detection of cases of the Omicron variant, which he said, has a “high possibility” of local transmission in the country.
“Sa mga susunod na araw, maaaring makita natin ang malaking pagtaas ng mga aktibong kaso,” he said in an abrupt announcement on New Year’s Eve.
(In the coming days, we may expect a drastic increase of active COVID-19 cases.)
“Ito ang dahilan kung bakit ngayon pa lamang ay nakapagdesisyon ang inyong IATF na itaas ang alert level classification ng NCR sa Alert Level 3,” Nograles added.
(This is the reason why the IATF has decided to upgrade the alert level classification of NCR to Alert Level 3.)
Under Alert Level 3, intrazonal and interzonal travel are subject to “reasonable restrictions” that may be imposed by local government units.
Those under 18 years old and belonging to the vulnerable population may also be allowed access and travel as long as it is to get essential goods and services and for work.
The following establishments and activities will not be allowed under Alert Level 3:
-face-to-face classes in basic and higher education
-karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters
-casinos, horse racing, cockfighting, operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops and other gaming establishments aside from those that will be allowed by the IATF or the Office of the President
-social gatherings where individuals do not belong in the same household
Meanwhile, the following activities will be allowed with only 30% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals and 50% outdoor capacity:
-meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions
-social events such wedding parties, engagements, debut, birthday parties
-tourist attractions including libraries
-in-person religious gatherings
-personal care services
-fitness studios, non-contact sports
-film, music, TV production
Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals will be allowed while work on government agencies and instrumentalities will be allowed with only 60% on-site capacity.
Nograles said the IATF has instructed the technical working group headed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the National Vaccination Operations Center to craft guidelines for stricter measures for those unvaccinated against COVID-19.
Malacañang also urged all government agencies to ensure that minimum public health standards are to be strictly followed, especially in closed and crowded spaces and in close contact activities.
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