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NCR in Alert Level 3 due to lower Covid19 cases

Republika

In Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s address on October 13, he announced that the National Capital Region (NCR) was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to be placed under Alert Level 3 quarantine status from its current Alert Level 4.

The new guidelines will come into effect on October 16 and will last until October 31.


IATF-EID’s decision comes after the Department of Health (DOH) reported a lower recording of cases in its daily bulletin. On October 13, 7,181 new cases were logged, marking three straight days that recorded infections had been below 9,000. The same bulletin, however, revealed that the relatively low numbers were due to lower laboratory output from October 11.


In a statement on October 13, Presidential Advisor for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion revealed that the private sector had been pushing for the less restrictive guidelines for the last quarter of 2021. He stated that they had been in contact with OCTA and the DOH discussing the downward trend and that the government should give this factor consideration. As well as have a 50 or 70 capacity allowed in restaurants and personal care services for those who are fully vaccinated, and have other industries, such as cinemas, spas, and clinics be opened. Under current criteria from the government, these are only operational under Alert Level 2.


The eased Alert Level 3 will allow a 30% indoor capacity for establishments for fully vaccinated individuals and a 50% capacity for outdoor. All employees are required to be fully vaccinated, although the vaccination status of customers will no longer be determined in dine-in restaurants, personal care establishments, gyms, and worship areas.


Establishments with eased restrictions include places for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions; social events, such as birthday parties, wedding receptions, and family reunions; tourist attractions; amusement parks; recreational venues, such as internet cafes, billiard halls, arcades, bowling alleys, and swimming pools; cinemas; in-person religious gatherings; dine-in services; personal care establishments, such as barbershops, salons, and spas, including home service options; fitness studios; venues for noncontact sports, and film, music, and television production.


Meanwhile, businesses that are considered high-risk of transmission that will remain under restrictions include face-to-face classes for basic education, except those previously approved by the IATF-EID; contact sports, except those conducted under a bubble-type setup; fairs and playgrounds; venues with live performers and audiences, such as karaoke bars and concert halls; casinos and other gaming establishments, and gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household.


Intrazonal and interzonal travel is also allowed under Alert Level 3, with unrestrictive guidelines from respective local government units, that will still consider age and comorbidities. The IATF-EID also relaxed guidelines from incoming international passengers to take into effect on October 14. They are still required to be fully vaccinated, both foreign and Filipino must present proof of vaccination. Both must present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test taken 72 hours prior to departure, in which case no facility-based quarantine will be required. Filipinos have the additional option to take an RT-PCR test upon arrival, where they will be placed in a quarantine facility to await results.


The country’s total tally of Covid19 cases is at 2,690,455 cases, with 82,411 active cases and the death toll rising to 40,069.


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