Level 4 stays in MM as pilot implementation of alert scheme extended until Oct. 15

John Gabriel Agcaoili and Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2021 11:15 PM | Updated as of Sep 30 2021 11:54 PM

People offer prayers at the Baclaran Church on Sept. 29, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
People offer prayers at the Baclaran Church on Sept. 29, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Metro Manila will remain under Level 4 until Oct. 15 as the pilot implementation of the new COVID-19 alert level system is extended, officials said Thursday, amid the continuing spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters that the capital region, home to more than 13 million people, will remain under the same alert level that was hoisted since Sept. 16 when the dry run for the new scheme started.

The pilot imposition of the 5-level alert system which goes with granular lockdowns in a bid to arrest the spread of COVID-19 while allowing some businesses to have limited operation, was supposed to end Thursday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases decided to extend the pilot implementation of the said scheme in the National Capital Region until Oct. 15.

The 5-tier new virus response strategy being piloted is based on the growth of COVID-19 cases in an area, as well the hospital and intensive care utilization rates.

ADJUSTMENTS IN THE GUIDELINES

But along with the extension until mid-October are the reopening of fitness studios and gyms at 20 percent capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, provided that all gym workers are also fully vaccinated, Roque said in a statement.

“The IATF also approved the recommendation to expand by an additional 10 percent the allowable indoor capacities of dine-in services, in-person religious services, and personal care services in areas under Alert Level 4 of the Pilot Implementation of Alert Levels System, for fully vaccinated individuals,” he added.

This means, according to Lopez, that total allowable capacity is 20 percent for these indoor establishments. And those with government safety seal could take in 10 percent more.

Outdoor settings of those mentioned above, however, shall have the allowable capacity of 30 percent, except for those with government safety seal which can add 10 percent more.

OUTSIDE METRO MANILA

Meanwhile, Roque also announced the quarantine classifications of areas outside Metro Manila.

The following areas will be under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15:

  • Apayao
  • Kalinga
  • Batanes
  • Bataan
  • Bulacan
  • Cavite
  • Lucena City
  • Rizal
  • Laguna
  • Naga City
  • Iloilo Province

From Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, the following areas will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions:

  • Abra
  • Baguio City
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Pangasinan
  • Cagayan
  • Isabela
  • City of Santiago
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • Quezon
  • Batangas
  • Bacolod City
  • Capiz
  • Iloilo City
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Negros Oriental
  • Bohol
  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Davao del Norte
  • Davao Occidental
  • Butuan City
  • Surigao del Sur

Roque said Davao de Oro will also be under GCQ with heightened restrictions, but only on October 1-15, 2021.

The following areas meanwhile will be under GCQ from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31:

LUZON 

  • Ilocos Norte 
  • Dagupan City 
  • Benguet 
  • Ifugao 
  • Tarlac 
  • Marinduque 
  • Occidental Mindoro 
  • Oriental Mindoro 
  • Puerto Princesa 
  • Albay 
  • Camarines Norte 

VISAYAS

  • Aklan
  • Antique
  • Guimaras
  • Negros Occidental
  • Cebu City
  • Cebu province
  • Mandaue City
  • Siquijor
  • Tacloban City

MINDANAO

  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Zamboanga City
  • Misamis Occidental
  • Iligan City
  • Davao City
  • Davao Oriental
  • Davao del Sur
  • General Santos City
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Sarangani
  • North Cotabato
  • South Cotabato
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Cotabato City
  • Lanao del Sur

The rest of the Philippines will be under modified GCQ, said Roque.

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