MANILA - Lowering Metro Manila's COVID-19 quarantine restrictions to Alert Level 3 in the fourth quarter will help pandemic-hit businesses recoup losses, a palace adviser said Tuesday.
With a vaccination rate projected to hit 80 percent in Metro Manila by October, a loosening of quarantine restrictions is warranted, Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion told ANC.
Although some businesses such as restaurant dine-in were allowed at 10 percent for fully vaccinated under Level 4, the government "should open up more" to fuel the economy and support firms' recovery, he said.
"We expect that level 3 is very possible as we enter October," Concepcion said.
"If they don’t recover in the last quarter, it would be much harder because this is Christmas spending, election spending, so it's time for them to recoup their losses from the previous months when we were lockdown," he added.
Under Level 3, the cap for high risks establishments can be increased to 50 percent but Concepcion suggested to still limit the loosening of restrictions to the fully vaccinated.
Gym owners have also lobbied for reopening which Concepcion said he has endorsed to Trade Secretary Mon Lopez.
Lopez earlier said gyms are allowed to operate at a limited capacity under Alert Level 3.
Both officials said exercise is beneficial to keep a healthy body during the pandemic.
A technical working group is currently looking into the possibility of allowing gyms to reopen in October even if the quarantine stays at Level 4.
But Concepcion said a cap would still be imposed on high-risk establishments such as gyms, spas and salons once they're allowed to reopen.