Cinemas, amusement parks to reopen in NCR under alert level 3

For the first time since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Alert Level System (ALS) was implemented, Metro Manila residents will find out what it's like to live under alert level 3, which will be observed in the capital region from Oct. 16, 2021 to Oct. 31, 2021.

(Erik Witsoe/ Unsplash)

Alert level 3 is right in the middle of the five-tier ALS, the guidelines of which was finally released Wednesday night, Oct. 13, by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or simply IATF.

Based on the guidelines, alert level 3 "refers to areas where case counts are high and/or increasing, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit (ICU) utililization rate at increasing utilization".

This definition notwithstanding, the National Capital Region (NCR) will actually be enjoying a downgrade in alert level, since it is currently under alert level 4.

Most notably, cinemas and amusement parks will finally reopen their doors to patrons on a limited capacity starting Oct. 16.

But what other freedoms or limitations should the metro dwellers expect under alert level 3? Here are key points as per the IATF guidelines:

1. The following establishments/ activities shall be allowed to operate or be undertaken at a maximum of 30 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 50 percent outdoor venue capacity:

- 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 higher education and for technical-vocational education and training;

- In-person religious gatherings, gatherings for neurological 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 in food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants, and eateries subject to DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) 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 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; and

- Film, music, and television production, subject to the joint guidelines as may be issued by the DTI, DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment), and the DOH (Department of Health).

2. Meanwhile, the following establishments and/or activities characterized as high-risk for transmission shall not be allowed to operate, or be undertaken:

- Face-to-face or in-person classes for basic education, except those previously approved by the IATF and/ or the Office of the President;

- Contact sports, except those conducted under a bubble-type setup as provided for under relevant guidelines adopted by the IATF, Games and Amusements Board (GAB), and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), and approved by the LGU (local government unit) where such games shall be held;

- Funfair/ peryas and 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;

- Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except as may be authorized by the IATF or the Office of the President; and

- Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household.

"Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall remain to be fully operational and shall adhere to at least 30 percent on-site capacity while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements," the guidelines said.