Metro Manila under Alert Level 4 starting Sept. 16 in new lockdown scheme

UPDATED AT 2:59 PMMETRO Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under Alert Level 4, the second highest classification in the new lockdown scheme, from September 16 to 30.This was confirmed by Jonathan Malaya, undersecretary for the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), to The Manila Times on Tuesday.In a previous interview, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said at least five of the 17 Metro Manila areas may fall under the highest Alert Level 5, while two were considered for Alert Level 3. But the mayors have agreed to implement just one alert level.Areas under Alert Level 4 means they have “high and/or increasing” transmission of the coronavirus disease, as well as high total bed utilization and intensive care unit rates, according to the guidelines released by the country’s pandemic task force on Monday.Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said curfew hours will be adjusted to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. from the current 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.Individuals below 18 years old, citizens above 65 years old, persons with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women are prohibited from going out, “provided that they shall be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices.”Outdoor exercises will also be allowed but shall be limited to the general area of residence and minimum public health standards shall be followed.Indoor visitor or tourist attractions; indoor spaces for meetings, incentives, conferences, and events; indoor entertainment and recreational venues; gaming establishments, except those previously approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force and the President; social gatherings; staycations; and sports and leisure centers are not permitted.Outdoor dining services, personal care services, and religious gatherings will be allowed for up to 30 percent of their seating or venue capacity, regardless of vaccination status.Those indoors, meanwhile, can operate for up to 10 percent, but shall only cater fully inoculated individuals.Necrological services will be limited to immediate family members, provided that they present “satisfactory proof” of their relationship with the deceased, as well as full compliance with health protocols.Government agencies and instrumentalities shall remain fully operational with 20 percent on-site capacity, the rest under work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements.
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