The Philippine capital will be placed under the highest alert level under general community quarantine starting September 16 when the region shifts to an experimental lockdown scheme.
Under the guidelines released by the country’s coronavirus task force this week, the following is prohibited under Alert Level 4:
- Travel for minors, senior citizens aged 65 and above, persons with comorbidities, and pregnant women.
The following are also prohibited from resuming operations:
- libraries, archives, museums, galleries, cultural shows, and exhibits;
- indoor venues for meeting, incentives, conferences, and events;
- karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters;
- outdoor and indoor amusement parks;
- internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues;
- indoor limited face-to-face classes, except those previously approved by the national government;
- casinos, horse racing, cockfighting;
- social events such as concerts and parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers, parades, processions, motorcades, and gatherings at residences with any person outside one’s immediate household;
- fitness studios, gyms, spas, or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools;
- all contact sports, except those conducted under a bubble-type setup approved by the LGU;
- medical aesthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, make-up salons, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness, and holistic centers;
- acupuncture and electrocautery establishments;
- massage therapy including sports therapy establishments (home service not permitted);
The following are allowed:
- interzonal and intrazonal travel for people not required to stay at home;
- individual outdoor exercises for all ages regardless of vaccination status, but shall be limited within area of residence;
- al-fresco dine-in services at 30% capacity;
- indoor dine-in services at 10% capacity, but only for the fully vaccinated;
- outdoor personal care services (barber shops, hair spas, nail spas, and beauty salons) at 30% capacity;
- indoor personal care services at 10% capacity, but only for the fully vaccinated;
- gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, or funerals for those who died from causes other than COVID-19.
- The IATF said all other establishments not specified may be allowed to operate at 100% onsite capacity.
So-called granular lockdowns will be imposed in areas where there are high cases of COVID-19 for at least 14 days.
Only health workers and uniformed personnel “shall be allowed to move within, into, and out of the area under granular lockdown,” read the guidelines.
The following shall be given permission to enter and leave granular lockdown areas for specific reasons:
- overseas Filipino workers bound for international travel, and those returning to respective residences;
- those who live within the area under granular lockdown and wish to stay there for its duration;
- those seeking urgent medical attention;
- people delivering food and essential items.
“We should strive for total health and this can only be realized by carefully balancing our COVID-19 response by considering both the health of our people and the economic health of the nation,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
The health department will determine which parts of the capital region, an urban sprawl of 16 cities home to more than 13 million people, will be placed under tight or loose levels, depending on case transmission rates and hospital occupancy.
The Philippines, which has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, is battling its worst surge in infections, overwhelming hospitals and healthcare workers.
Cases in the past 30 days alone accounted for more than a fifth of the country’s 2.2 million cases, while total deaths have reached 35,145.