What to Expect: Entire Cebu under Alert Level 2
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Starting Wednesday, October 20, 2021, the entire island of Cebu will be shifting to the new Alert Level system of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday, October 19 announced that the IATF decided to expand its implementation of the new alert level system in areas outside Metro Manila.
Areas under Alert Level 2 included Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Cebu province, Bohol, Batangas, Quezon province, Lucena City, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental.
Other areas in the country that will be adopting the new classifications included Negros Oriental and Davao Occidental, both under Alert Level 4, and Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Siquijor, Davao City, and Davao del Norte which belonged under Alert Level 3.
These new classifications are expected to last until October 31.
Alert Level 2
The new alert level system by the national government’s anti-COVID task force was first introduced in Metro Manila on September 16.
In a nutshell, the lower the number of the alert level, the more relaxed the restrictions are. This means that Alert Level 1 is the most lenient while Alert Level 5 is strictest.
According to IATF, Alert Level 2 refers to ‘areas wherein case transmission is low and decreasing, healthcare utilization is low, or case counts are low but increasing, or case counts are low and decreasing but total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate is increasing.’
Based on the latest resolution from the IATF, banning certain age groups, particularly minors and senior citizens, from going outside their houses will be lifted in areas under Alert Level 2 unless the local governments say otherwise.
Intrazonal and interzonal travel will still be allowed, and local government units (LGUs) are given the discretion to impose regulations and restrictions, provided that these are not stricter than those found under Alert Level 4.
Furthermore, the following establishments or activities are allowed to operate at a maximum of 50 percent for indoor and 70 percent for outdoor:
- Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE);
- Permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers;
- Visitor or tourist attractions such as libraries, archives, museums, galleries, exhibits, parks, plazas, public gardens, scenic viewpoints or overlooks, and the like;
- Amusement parks or theme parks;
- Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, archery halls, swimming pools, and similar venues;
- Cinemas and movie houses;
- Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for basic education subject to prior approval of the Office of the President;
- Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for higher education and for technical-vocational education and training;
- In-person religious gatherings; gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of the COVID-19 deceased;
- Licensure or entrance/qualifying examinations administered by their respective government agency, and specialty examinations authorized by the IATF subject to the health and safety guidelines as approved by the IATF;
- Dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants, and eateries, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols;
- Personal care establishments such as barbershops, hair spas, hair salons, and nail spas, and those offering aesthetic/cosmetic services or procedures, make-up services, salons, spas, reflexology, and other similar procedures including home service options, subject to the sector-specific protocols of the DTI;
- Fitness studios, gyms, and venues for individual non-contact exercise and sports, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols. Provided that patrons/clients and workers/employees wear face masks at all times and that no group activities are conducted;
- Film, music, and television production subject to the joint guidelines as may be issued by the DTI, DOLE, and the DOH;
- Contact sports approved by the LGU where such games shall be held;
- Funfairs/peryas or kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides;
- Venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as in karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters; and
- Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household.
However, the abovementioned establishments will only accommodate fully vaccinated individuals and minors below 18 years old, even if unvaccinated, and only if all of their workers are already inoculated and minimum health protocols are in place.
In addition, agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall remain to be fully operational and shall adhere to at least 50 percent on-site capacity while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements.
On the other hand, casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments are still not allowed to operate unless authorized by the IATF or the Office of the President. / with reports from INQUIRER.net
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