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Gov’t Urged To Review Safe Reopening of Economy Under Areas With Low Alert Levels

In the current guidelines for areas under alert levels 2 and 3, the allowed capacity for indoor dine-in and personal care services is 50 percent and 30 percent.

Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion urges the government to review guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals under the alert level system.

In a letter addressed to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles and National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr., he said that the guidelines in the new alert level system did not provide clear qualifying conditions for alert levels 2 and 3. (Read: Alert Level 4? Here’s What You Should Know About IATF’s New COVID-19 Alert Level Systems)

Proposed guidelines 

In a news article from Inquirer.net, Concepcion expressed his concern that the “vague” guidelines for indoor activities of business establishments in areas under alert levels 2 and 3 can pose a risk to both unvaccinated customers and employees.

He also called on the government to consider allowing only fully vaccinated individuals to do indoor business transactions in areas under alert levels 4 to 2 and increase the capacity of businesses permitted to operate. 

guidelines-for-fully-vaccinated
Dine-in areas in a mall in Makati City close to customers on August 2, 2021, as food establishments are only allowed to open for delivery and take-out under the general community quarantine. (Photo from Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File)

“We have to be consistent and extend privileges for the fully vaccinated across all alert levels as the goal is to reopen safely. If we reach alert level 1, where it is deemed safe, then anyone can freely move. But if there are risks, let’s protect those who have not received the vaccine,” Concepcion explained.

He also suggested that indoor businesses such as dine-in restaurants and personal care services be allowed to accommodate more fully vaccinated customers under alert levels 2 and 3 for businesses to “gain back months’ worth of losses” to pay back their financial obligations.

In the current guidelines for areas under alert levels 2 and 3, the allowed capacity for indoor dine-in and personal care services is 50 percent and 30 percent. (Read: ‘Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Is An Act of Love’ -Pope Francis)

Bakuna bubble

guidelines-for-fully-vaccinated
The staff of a restaurant in Manila prepare tables and acrylic barriers on Sept. 15, 2021, a day before the pilot implementation of the alert level system in Metro Manila. Under Alert Level 4, indoor dining is allowed at limited 10% venue or seating capacity, but only for fully vaccinated customers. (Photo by KJ Rosales, The Philippine STAR)

Concepcion said that it would be possible to safely bring the economy to recovery by allowing greater mobility for the fully vaccinated. 

“In this way we can capture the safe reopening of the economy while preventing surge in COVID cases brought by unvaccinated individuals,” he underscored.

He proposed implementing the “bakuna bubble” to push for the safe reopening of the economy. Under that scheme, fully vaccinated individuals can move freely within the family and business bubble, creating greater mobility for those vaccinated individuals to help the economy recover amid the pandemic. 

Since many Filipinos are receiving their COVID-19 jabs and more vaccines are expected to arrive in the country, Concepcion is optimistic that these restrictions might be temporary.

He also hopes that it will bring “about successes such as economic recovery, bringing down the cases of infection, and preventing unemployment.” (Read: What is the difference between MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ?)

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual press conference last week that the government is still studying the proposed guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals, including the “bakuna bubble.”

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