Back to Alert Level 3 for Metro Manila

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THE government announced it is re-escalating the National Capital Region (NCR) back to a stricter Alert Level 3 COVID-19 classification status.

The decision came amid the exponential increase in the number of new infections the past few days, according to Acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles.

He cited factors for the spike in cases are increased mobility because of the holiday season, lesser compliance to minimum public health standards. Another reason is the detection of local cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The epidemiological investigation of the three local cases, he said, indicates a high possibility of local transmission of the Omicron variant, which may lead to an increase in the number of active cases.

This is why at this early stage, the IATF has reached a decision to increase the alert level classification of the NCR to Alert Level 3 starting 12:01 am January 3 to January 15,” Nograles said.

Under Alert Level 3, Nograles said interzonal and intrazonal travel are subject to “reasonable restrictions” to be imposed by local government units.

Also, the following establishments and activities will be banned under Alert Level 3:

  • Face-to-face classes in basic and higher education
  • Contact sports
  • Funfairs/peryas
  • Karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters
  • casinos, horse racing, cockfighting, operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops and other gaming establishments aside from those approved to operate by the IATF or the Office of the President
  • Social gathering among individuals where individuals present do not belong to the same household

On the other hand, the following activities shall be allowed under a 30-percent indoor capacity among fully vaccinated individuals, and 50 percent for outdoor capacity:

  • Cinemas
  • Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions
  • Social Events (wedding parties, engagements, debuts
  • Tourist attractions including libraries
  • Amusement Parks
  • Recreational venues
  • In-person religious gatherings
  • Licensure exams
  • Dine-in services
  • Personal care services
  • Fitness studios, non-contact sports
  • Film, music, TV production
  • Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals, while work on government agencies and instrumentalities will be allowed under a 60-percent on-site capacity.

A technical working group composed of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the National Vaccination Operations Center were also tasked to come up with stricter guidelines for individuals who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, Nograles said.

Nograles added that all government agencies are instructed to ensure that minimum public health standards will be be strictly followed, particularly in the Three “Cs”: closed and crowded spaces and in close contact activities.

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