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Metro Manila, 38 Other Areas Now Under COVID Alert Level 1

Metro Manila, 38 Other Areas Now Under COVID Alert Level 1

Last Sunday (February 27, 2022), Malacañang made an announcement of placing Metro Manila and 38 other areas on COVID Alert Level 1 from March 1 to March 15.

IATF Approved the Amended Guidelines for COVID Alert Level 1

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles released a statement saying, “The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Sunday, February 27, 2022, approved placing the National Capital Region under Alert Level 1 effective March 1, 2022 until March 15, 2022.”

The following areas are also under the most laid back COVID alert level:

Luzon

  • Abra
  • Apayao
  • Baguio City
  • Kalinga
  • Dagupan City
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Ilocos Sur
  • La Union
  • Pangasinan
  • Batanes
  • Cagayan
  • City of Santiago
  • Isabela
  • Quirino
  • Angeles City
  • Aurora
  • Bataan
  • Bulacan
  • Olongapo CIty
  • Pampanga
  • Tarlac
  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Marinduque
  • Puerto Princesa City
  • Romblon
  • Naga City
  • Catanduanes

Visayas

  • Aklan
  • Bacolod City
  • Capiz
  • Guimaras
  • Siquijor
  • Biliran

Mindanao

  • Zamboanga City
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Camiguin
  • Davao City

On Monday (February 28), Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stated that while moving to COVID Alert Level 1 brings the public closer to “living with the virus,” it does not mean Filipinos can relax their defenses against COVID-19.

Rather, Alert Level 1 is a sort of “in-between” phase in which COVID-19 is not as serious as it was two years ago. However, it is also not yet at the point where it could be regarded as an endemic.

She added that if cases begin to rise again and hospitals become overburdened, the government may reintroduce restrictions.

Below are some of the new (and old) guidelines and protocols under the said COVID alert level:

Wearing of masks

  • Despite easing the restrictions, well-fitted masks are here to stay. It should be worn properly at all times, both in indoor and outdoor areas, be it at private or public establishments. Those who also travel through means of public transportation should keep their masks on throughout the ride.
  • Exceptions are only made for those who are eating, drinking, and participating in sports with venues meeting the ventilation standards. The task force also took note that those individuals who are doing outdoor activities can take off their masks provided that they are still following physical distancing.

Workplaces and establishments are operating at full capacity

  • The new COVID Alert Level 1 guidelines also allow all private offices and workplaces, including public and private construction sites to operate at full capacity while complying with national rules regarding on-site vaccination requirements.
  • There are still flexible and alternative work arrangements depending on the function or individual risk.
  • Government offices are expected to follow a 100% on-site workforce. Off-site work will be under the review of the Civil Service Commission and the Office of the President.
  • It is not a requirement for establishments to put up isolation facilities in the workplace.

Malacañang expects a boost in economic activity and a reduction in unemployment in the next three months. This is due to the easing of the COVID alert level in particular areas, including Metro Manila.

100% capacity for public transportations

  • Similar to other workforces, the new guidelines are now allowing full seating capacity for public transportations in particular areas.
  • For land transportation: When traveling between areas with Alert Level 1 and higher alert levels, capacity guidelines will consider those with the lower capacity.
  • Aviation, maritime, and rail public transportations shall also follow the 100% capacity.
  • It is no longer necessary to use the Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) travel management system for interzonal travel.

The IATF stated that there will be no limitations in terms of indoor and outdoor capacities under Alert Level 1. Everyone, regardless of age or comorbidities, can travel intrazonal or interzonal.

In addition to that, adults should present their proof of full vaccination before entering indoor establishments. This also works the same for those who would like to participate in mass gatherings.

In the meantime, face-to-face classes for primary education will require prior approval from the President’s Office.

The Department of Health (DOH) regards the new COVID alert level to be the “new normal” the people await.

On the last day of February, the country recorded 951 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest number this year. Meanwhile, National Vaccine Manager Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. shared that 63,092,684 Filipinos already received their COVID-19 vaccines.

Learn more about Health News here.

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Sources

PH logs new record-low COVID-19 cases this year at 951, https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1561143/ph-logs-new-record-low-covid-19-cases-at-951 Accessed March 1, 2022

Palace: Easing to Alert Level 1 expected to spur economy, lessen joblessness, https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1561091/palace-easing-to-alert-level-1-expected-to-spur-economy-lessen-joblessness Accessed March 1, 2022

More than 63 million Filipinos now fully vaccinated – Galvez, https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1561381/number-of-fully-vaccinated-filipinos-now-past-63-million-galvez Accessed March 1, 2022

Metro Manila, 38 other areas under Alert Level 1 starting Mar. 1, https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1560689/metro-manila-38-other-areas-under-alert-level-1-starting-mar-1 Accessed March 1, 2022

GUIDE: Alert Level 1 rules as Philippines enters ‘new normal’, https://www.rappler.com/nation/guide-things-to-know-philippines-new-normal-alert-level-1/ Accessed March 1, 2022

IATF approves amended guidelines for Alert Level 1, https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1168637 Accessed March 1, 2022

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated Apr 15
Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD