NCR to ease to Alert Level 2 starting Nov. 5

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The National Capital Region will further ease COVID-19 restrictions beginning Friday, Nov. 5, after Malacañang announced that the area will be downgraded to Alert Level 2. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 4) — The National Capital Region will further ease COVID-19 restrictions beginning Friday, Nov. 5, after Malacañang announced that the area will be downgraded to Alert Level 2.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Thursday approved the shift to a lower alert level, which will take effect until Nov. 21.

Under Level 2, establishments are allowed to operate at higher capacities - from 50 to 70% - depending on whether their operations will be indoors or outdoors.

Bars, karaoke places, clubs, concert halls and theaters, and other venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers may operate up to 50% capacity indoors for fully vaccinated individuals, and up to 70% outdoors regardless of vaccination status. However, all staff must be fully inoculated.

The same conditions apply to funfairs or peryas and kid amusement industries including playgrounds, playrooms, and kiddie rides.

Casinos, horse-racing, cockfighting, operation of cockpits, lotteries, betting shops, and other gaming establishments remain prohibited under Alert Level 2.

Changes in assessment

The IATF also approved the recommendation to create a "sub-Technical Working Group on Data Analytics" tasked to "base the alert level assignments on data that is nearest to the implementation date," the Palace said.

Beginning Dec. 1, alert levels will be determined every 15th and 30th of the month. However, this excludes escalations, which may be done at any time in the middle of the implementation period as warranted. De-escalations, or easing of alert levels, may only be applied at the end of the two-week intervals.

The IATF also directed the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) and regional task groups to provide weekly feedback on the alert system rollout. Malacañang said the IATF amended the guidelines on the implementation of the system in pilot areas "to clarify the allowed movement of persons under varying alert levels."

The NTF shall also start using the following recovery indices for the different stages of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Phase IV:

For Infection Management: number of severe cases and critical cases, time gap from detection to isolation, and tests per case per month.

For Vaccine Roll-out: total vaccines administered per capita, new vaccine doses administered per capita and fully vaccinated individuals.

For Socio-Economic Recovery: Purchasing Managers' Index by IHS Markit, Google mobility to retail and recreation, as well as the number of commercial airline passengers.