In an announcement on Thursday, November 4, the Malacañang said that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved the shift to Alert Level 2 for the National Capital Region (NCR). The announcement comes only a few days after they had announced that the region would remain on Alert Level 3.
With the downgrade of the restrictions in NCR, more establishments are now allowed to resume operations, and their capacity increases to 50% to 70%, depending on whether operation is indoor or outdoor. (Read: PSA: COVID-19 Vaccination Guidelines For Minors)
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the alert level in NCR will be in effect from Friday, November 5, and will remain until November 21.
Bars, karaokes, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas are now open to the public. However, for indoor settings such as cinemas inside malls, only fully vaccinated individuals are allowed and to only 50% of the capacity of the venue. But for outdoor settings, a maximum of 70% capacity is allowed, with no vaccination requirement. For any setting, however, all staff must be fully vaccinated.
Minors are now also allowed to go out, provided they are also observing proper health protocols stated by the Department of Health (DOH) and World Health Organization (WHO) for minors and young children.
The IATF adds that “intrazonal and interzonal movement is allowed under Alert Level 2. Local government units may also impose further restrictions as long as they are not stricter than higher alert levels. This is also subject to the evaluation of their respective regional IATFs.” (Read: YouTube Bans Content Spreading Misinformation About COVID-19 Vaccines)
However, cockfighting, horse racing, casinos, operation of cockpits, lotteries, and other gaming establishments are still not allowed even on Alert Level 2.
In addition to the “de-escalation” of NCR’s alert level, Roque also said that the IATF has approved the suggestion to base implementations of quarantines and alert levels on “data that is nearest to the implementation date.” And starting December 1, all quarantine statuses will be determined every 15th and 30th of the month.
Alert levels may be escalated anytime during the period, but de-escalation can only be done at the end of each two-week assessment period. The guidelines for the alert levels will also be amended “to clarify the allowed movement of persons under varying alert levels.”