Strict measures will be imposed on unvaccinated people as local government units in Metro Manila note a continuing surge in the number of COVID-19 cases due to the recent increased mobility and relaxed health protocols.
Members of Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of the 17 mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR), have agreed to restrict the movement of unvaccinated people and implement preventive measures such as restricting entry to some places.
“This is just a temporary measure, and this is more for your protection,” said Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chief and concurrent MMC chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr.
Abalos said unvaccinated people will not be allowed to go outside their homes unless their activities are essential.
“This is like we are imposing ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) for unvaccinated people,” he said.
The restriction, according to Abalos, came following last Sunday’s MMC meeting with health experts and concerned government agency officials.
The MMC is the governing board and the policy making of the MMDA.
The MMDA chief urged owners and operators of restaurants and eateries to require customers practice social distancing and bring proof of vaccination together with identification cards before they will be allowed to enter the establishments.
“We will be more strict about requiring vaccination cards on these establishments. I also urge people to always bring their IDs and vaccination cards,” said Abalos.
Abalos said Metro Manila mayors also decided to open their respective isolation centers and quarantine facilities amid the continuing increase of COVID-19 cases.
“We are also strengthening and enhancing policies on closed areas, crowded places and close contacts,” he added.
There will be no curfew, he added.
Under alert level 3, intrazonal and interzonal travel will be allowed subject to reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities, as may be determined by the local government units.
Individual outdoor exercises will also be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status.
The following establishments or activities characterized as high-risk for transmission will not be allowed to operate, or be undertaken in areas classified under Alert Level 3:
• Face-to-face or in-person classes for basic education, except those previously approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), or the Office of the President;
• Contact sports, except those conducted under a bubble-type setup as provided for under relevant guidelines adopted by the IATF, Games and Amusement Board, and Philippine Sports Commission, and approved by the LGU where such games shall be held;
• Funfairs or “peryas” and 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;
Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except as may be authorized by the IATF or the Office of the President; and
• Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household.
Some establishments, or activities, shall also be allowed to operate or be undertaken at a maximum of 30 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 50 percent outdoor venue capacity.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases will review the guidelines for Alert Level 3, Malacanang said.
“This Alert Level 3 guidelines is something we will revisit, the technical working group will meet and the IATF will have a meeting tomorrow to talk about this,” acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said in an ANC interview.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr), meanwhile, ordered public utility vehicle (PUV) operators to ensure that passenger capacity is
capped at 70 percent, as Metro Manila shifts back to Alert Level 3.
Owners and operators that violate these restrictions could face fines and have their units impounded, transport officials said.
All train lines will also remain operating at 70 percent capacity.
The Commission on Human Rights on Monday challenged the planned stay-at-home order for unvaccinated people in Metro Manila, however.
Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said there must be valid justifications for restricting the rights of a person, including
freedom of movement, even during national emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.