MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines further relaxed COVID-19 pandemic restrictions by allowing all establishments to operate on full capacity as long as they are in places under Alert Level 1, a category that indicates low level of virus transmission and a hospital system that has plenty of room for coronavirus patients.
However, proof of full vaccination must be presented for participation in mass gatherings or for entry into indoor establishments, said Acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin Andanar on Tuesday, June 7, during a Malacañang press briefing.
“IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) allowed full 100% capacity under Alert Level 1, subject to presentation of proof of full vaccination before participating in mass gatherings or entry into indoor establishments,” he said.
The new rule is part of a larger set of guidelines released by the task force on Tuesday but signed last Saturday, June 4, entitled “Guidelines for National Alert Level System as of June 4, 2022.”
A big majority of the country’s provinces and cities, or 66%, are under Alert Level 1, including Metro Manila, from June 1 to 15. The government announces new alert level designations twice a month.
New mask rules
Under Alert Level 1, there are now more exceptions to masking. Masks are to be worn at all times except when eating or drinking, engaging in individual or group sports in well-ventilated areas, and doing outdoor sports or exercises in an area where “physical distance can be maintained.”
Under Alert Level 1, government work shall all be on-site. Public transportation – land, air, and sea – are to operate on full capacity, and will only be reduced if traveling to an area under a higher alert level. Plastic barriers and use of S-PASS will no longer be required when traveling to an Alert Level 1 area.
The rules also emphasized the importance of air exchange and ventilation in indoor spaces. Establishments are encouraged to keep windows open and ensure exhaust fans are always turned on when there are people present. The use of outdoor spaces by establishments should be promoted and incentivized, said the task force.
The same set of guidelines also defines the five alert levels and simplifies all the rules under the different alert levels. – Rappler.com