The National Capital Region (NCR) will be under Alert Level 4 for the pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System for COVID-19 Response, which will be implemented starting September 16, 2021, according to Palace spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr in a press briefing on 14 September 2021.
Under Alert Level 4, there will be certain restrictions for establishments and activities that would fall under the so-called 3Cs, which refer to closed spaces, crowded spaces, and activities that promote close contact. However, under the pilot, certain indoor activities were allowed for the fully vaccinated, said the Presidential Spokesperson.
“Balik-trabaho na po ang mga manggagawa at empleyado ng mga restaurant, mga karinderia, mga kainan sa Metro Manila simula Huwebes, September 16. Pinapayagan na po ang al fresco at indoor dining basta fully vaccinated ang mga workers at mga empleyado,” said Secretary Roque.
Under Alert Level 4, al fresco dining shall be allowed up to a maximum 30 percent venue or seating capacity regardless of vaccination status. In addition to this, dining establishments shall be allowed indoor dine-in services at a limited 10 percent venue or seating capacity, but only for fully vaccinated customers.
“Balik trabaho na rin po ang mga nasa personal care services establishments. Kailangan fully vaccinated po ang mga empleyado. Pinapayagan na po ang 10 percent indoor sa fully vaccinated, 30 percent sa outdoor para sa mga nabakunahan at hindi nabakunahan,” said Sec Roque.
On the other hand, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said that there will be no distinctions in terms of vaccination in Alert Levels 1 to 3, which will allow more industries and businesses to open.
Secretary Lopez added that food preparation establishments shall be allowed at 100 percent capacity for take out and delivery under Alert Levels 2 and 3, while dine in services shall be allowed at 30 percent capacity under Alert Level 3 and at 50 percent capacity under Alert Level 2. All services of food preparation establishments shall be allowed at 100 percent under Alert Level 1, provided that minimum public health standards are observed.
Lopez also clarified that for personal care services, only establishments that provide the basic services shall be allowed during the pilot such as barbershops, beauty salons, hair spas, and nail spas. Under Alert Level 3, all personal care services shall be allowed at 30 percent capacity, while under Alert Level 2, all personal care services shall be allowed at 50 percent capacity, and under Alert Level 1, at 100 percent capacity.
Similarly, religious services shall also be allowed under Alert Level 4 at 10 percent indoor capacity for fully vaccinated and up to 30 percent capacity for outdoor for both vaccinated and unvaccinated, provided that all church workers are fully vaccinated.
On the general guidelines for the pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System for COVID-19 Response, Roque said that it will be up to the Department of Health to identify the alert level for the pilot area. The classification of alert levels will be done weekly.
Roque added that granular lockdowns that will be imposed under the new Alert Levels System will be strictly done for not less that 14 days, where only a few individuals will be allowed to move in and out of the lockdown area. These include healthcare and allied health professionals, including uniformed personnel who will impose the lockdowns, and departing overseas Filipino workers and those who arrived and have just finished their quarantine.
Entry shall also be allowed for those who reside in an area declared under granular lockdown only for the purpose of returning to their residence; and for individuals under exceptional circumstances such as those seeking urgent medical attention. Food and other essential items that are for delivery within an area that is under granular lockdown shall be unloaded only at border collection points that shall be determined by the local government unit.
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairperson Benjamin Abalos Jr mentioned in the same press briefing that the vaccination coverage of the NCR was considered in finalizing the guidelines for the pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System. Chair Abalos said that 61 percent of Metro Manila residents are now fully vaccinated. Those who received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in the NCR is now at 86.55 percent, as of September 13, 2021, according to the National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard.
Abalos added that other sectors/industries remain prohibited for the pilot implementation of the new classification framework, including indoor tourist attractions, indoor venues for meetings and events, indoor sports courts and venues, amusement parks, social events, among others. ### OPS