Confused? Here’s a quick guide for the new COVID-19 Alert Levels System

Published November 5, 2021, 9:01 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

With Metro Manila moving to Alert Level 2 starting November 5, 2021, and many areas in the country being placed under the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response system, a lot of people may still be confused with the guidelines.

(Ali Vicoy/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

The COVID-19 Alert Levels System was first piloted in the National Capital Region (NCR) in September. It is the new set of quarantine classifications that cover entire cities, municipalities, and/or regions.

The new system is to manage and minimize the risk of the disease through indicators set by the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases while trying to keep the economy afloat.

This system is composed of five alert levels and the granular lockdown approach which is a two-week micro-level quarantine for areas that local government units (LGUs) will declare as “critical zones” regardless of the Alert Level of the said area.

Here is a quick guide for the different COVID-19 Alert Levels (as of November 4, 2021).

Alert Level 5

Areas placed under Alert Level 5 shall observe the guidelines applicable to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) as provided for under the IATF Omnibus Guidelines. The benefits applicable to ECQ, including the cash assistance or “ayuda”, shall be applicable in Alert Level 5.

Alert Level 4

Alert Level 4 refers to areas wherein case counts are high and/or increasing, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate at high utilization.

Under this classification, intrazonal and interzonal movement will be allowed except for people who do not belong in the 18-65 age group, and those with health risks but they will be allowed to go out to obtain essential goods and services, and for work in permitted industries.

Those below under the age of 18 will also be allowed to undertake point-to-point travels, staycations, and individual outdoor exercises.

The following are not allowed in Alert Level 4:

  1. Face to face classes for basic, higher, technical, or vocational education and training, except those approved by the IATF and/or the Office of the President
  2. All contact sports
  3. Cinemas and movie houses;
  4. Funfairs/peryas and kid amusement such as industries playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides
  5. Venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters
  6. Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments
  7. Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household

Except for areas under granular lockdown, the following are allowed in Alert Level 4 at a maximum of 10-percent indoor capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 30-percent outdoor capacity if they have a Safety Seal Certification:

  1. Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE)
  2. Permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, family reunions, and other similar activities
  3. Visitor or tourist attractions such as libraries, museums, galleries, parks, plazas, public gardens, scenic viewpoints or overlooks, and the like
  4. Amusement parks and theme parks
  5. Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, archery halls, swimming pools, and similar venues

Except for areas under granular lockdown, the following are allowed at a maximum of 10-percent indoor capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 30-percent outdoor venue capacity:

  1. In-person religious gatherings but processions and other similar mobile religious gatherings shall not be allowed
  2. Licensure or entrance/qualifying examinations and specialty examinations
  3. Dine-in services in food preparation establishments
  4. Personal care establishments such as barbershops, spas, salons, reflexology, and other similar procedures including home service options
  5. Fitness studios, gyms, and venues for non-contact exercise and sports (group activities not allowed)
  6. Film, music, and television production

All workers in the said permitted establishments should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 deaths shall be allowed but will be limited to immediate family members.

Government agencies will remain fully operational with at least 20-percent on-site capacity for workers.

Alert Level 3

Alert Level 3 refers to areas wherein case counts are high and/or increasing, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate at increasing utilization.

Under this classification, intrazonal and interzonal movement will be allowed. Those who are under the age of 18 and those with health risks will be allowed to go out to obtain essential goods and services, and for work in permitted industries.

The following is not allowed under Alert Level 3:

  1. Face to face classes for basic education
  2. Contact sports, except those conducted under a bubble-type setup
  3. Funfairs/peryas and kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides
  4. Venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as in karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters
  5. Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments
  6. Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household

Except for areas under granular lockdown, the following are allowed in Alert Level 3 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, family reunions, and other similar activities
  • Visitor or tourist attractions such as libraries, museums, galleries, 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 classes for higher education and for technical-vocational education and training
  • In-person religious gatherings
  • Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for COVID-19 non-COVID-19 deaths
  • Licensure or entrance/qualifying examinations and specialty examinations
  • Dine-in services in food preparation establishments
  • Personal care establishments such as barbershops, spas, salons, aesthetic/cosmetic services or procedures, reflexology, and other similar procedures including home service options
  • Fitness studios, gyms, and venues for non-contact exercise and sports (group activities are not allowed)
  • Film, music, and television production

Government agencies will remain fully operational with at least 30-percent on-site capacity for workers.

Alert Level 2

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.

Under this classification, intrazonal and interzonal movements shall be allowed.

Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments are not allowed to operate in areas under Alert Level 2 unless authorized by the IATF or the Office of the President.

Except for areas under granular lockdown, the following are allowed in Alert Level 2 at a maximum of 50-percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals and those below the age of 18 even if they are unvaccinated; and 70-percent outdoor venue capacity:

  • Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE)
  • Permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, family reunions, and other similar activities
  • Visitor or tourist attractions such as libraries, museums, galleries, 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 classes for higher education and for technical-vocational education and training
  • In-person religious gatherings
  • Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for COVID-19 non-COVID-19 deaths
  • Licensure or entrance/qualifying examinations and specialty examinations
  • Dine-in services in food preparation establishments
  • Personal care establishments such as barbershops, spas, salons, aesthetic/cosmetic services or procedures, reflexology, and other similar procedures including home service options
  • Fitness studios, gyms, and venues for non-contact exercise and sports (group activities are not allowed)
  • Film, music, and television production
  • Contact sports approved by the LGU
  • 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
  • Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household

Government agencies will remain fully operational with at least 50-percent on-site capacity for workers.

 

 

Alert Level 1

Alert Level 1 refers to areas wherein case transmission is low and decreasing, total bed utilization rate, and intensive care unit utilization rate is low.

Except for areas under granular lockdown: the following are allowed under Alert Level 1:

  • Intrazonal and interzonal movement regardless of age and comorbidities
  • All establishments, persons, or activities, are allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at full on-site or venue/seating capacity provided it is consistent with minimum public health standards

However, face-to-face classes for basic education must first be approved by the Office of the President.

Granular lockdowns

In areas under the two-week granular lockdown, only the following will be allowed to move within, into, and out of the said areas:

  • Health care workers (HCWs)
  • Non-health personnel working in hospitals, laboratories, dialysis facilities, and community healthcare workers if their institutions are unable to provide accommodation
  • Uniformed personnel tasked to enforce the granular lockdown
  • Overseas Filipino Workers bound for international travel, and those returning to their respective residences after having completed facility-based quarantine
  • Individuals with medical emergencies

Individuals whose residences are located in areas under the granular lockdown will be allowed to enter the area but will not be allowed to leave until the two-week period is completed.

Food and essential items provided that they can only be picked up and/or unloaded at border collection points designated by the LGU.

Households in areas under the granular lockdown shall be provided assistance by their respective LGUs and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

For more updates, follow the author on Twitter: https://twitter.com/argyllcyrus_MB

 
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