IN the September 30 meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), decided to extend the pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System in the National Capital Region (NCR) until October 15, 2021.
According to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the IATF also approved the recommendation to expand by an additional 10 percent the allowable indoor capacities of dine-in services, in-person religious services, and personal care services in areas under Alert Level 4 for fully vaccinated individuals.
In the same meeting, the IATF also approved the reopening of fitness studios and gyms at a limited 20-percent capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, provided that all gym workers should also be fully vaccinated. Both clients and service providers shall also wear face mask at all times and no group activities will be allowed.
Also, establishments allowed to operate under Alert Level 4 and have been awarded the Safety Seal Certification shall be allowed additional venue capacity of 10 percent beyond the prescribed venue or seating capacity.
Also approved by the IATF is the pilot rollout of the vaccination of children ages 12 to 17 years old with vaccines granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The pilot will begin on October 15, 2021 under a phased approach as may be determined by the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC).
The IATF also affirms, upon the directives of President Rodrigo Duterte, the opening of the national vaccination program to the general population nationwide upon the determination of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and its Vaccine Cluster.
Meanwhile, community quarantine classifications for the month of October were also finalized. Under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from October 1-15, 2021 are Apayao, Kalinga, Batanes, Bataan, Bulacan, Cavite, Lucena City, Rizal, Laguna, Naga City, and Iloilo Province.
Also, areas to be under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from October 1-31, 2021 include Abra, Baguio City, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, City of Santiago, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Quezon, Batangas, Bacolod City, Capiz, Iloilo City, Lapu-Lapu City, Negros Oriental, Bohol, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental, Butuan City, and Surigao del Sur.
Davao de Oro will also be under GCQ with heightened restrictions but only from October 1-15, 2021.
Under GCQ from October 1-31, 2021 are Ilocos Norte, Dagupan City, Benguet, Ifugao, Tarlac, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa, Albay, and Camarines Norte for Luzon.
For the Visayas: Aklan, Antique, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Cebu City, Cebu Province, Mandaue City, Siquijor, and Tacloban City.
While for Mindanao, those under GCQ are Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga City, Misamis Occidental, Iligan City, Davao City, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Cotabato City, and Lanao del Sur.
The rest of the Philippines will be under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
The IATF also released its updated list of countries/jurisdictions/territories that belong to the Red, Yellow, and Green List for October 1-15, 2021. Bermuda is the only country in the Red List, while 49 countries are in the Green List.
Countries in the Green List are: American Samoa, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Chad, China (mainland), Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Hungary, Madagascar, Mali, Federated States of Micronesia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Niger, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Poland, Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands), Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sierra Leone, Sint Eustatius, Taiwan, Algeria, Bhutan, Cook Islands, Eritrea, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niue, North Korea, Saint Helena, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tokelau, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Yemen.
All other countries/jurisdictions/territories not listed above are in the Yellow List.
Also in the same meeting, the IATF allowed community healthcare workers to also move within, into, and out of an area under granular lockdown if their institutions are unable to provide accommodations for them.
The IATF also endorses to local government units (LGUs) the conduct of routine and catch-up immunization and the community-based Measles-Rubella and Tetanus-Diphtheria (MR-Td) immunization activities of the Department of Health. Because of this, children less than 2 years old, 6-7 years old, and 12-13 years old shall be exempt from community quarantine restrictions for this purpose.
LGUs are also told to fast-track routine and catch-up immunization and community-based MR-Td immunization by dedicating Wednesdays for child vaccination by shifting healthcare workers from COVID-19 vaccination targets on said day for that purpose.
Lastly, the IATF recognizes the jurisdiction and mandate of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) over air rights agreements in the Philippines and poses no objection to the proposal of the Airline Operators Council for triangulated international arrival flights to different gateways, which the CAB may approve on a per airline basis.
(PHOTO CREDIT: pna.gov.ph)