MANILA— Malacañang on Friday released amended guidelines in the pilot implementation of Alert Level 4 in Metro Manila, which authorities said would be helpful should current restrictions be extended next month.
The 5-tier new virus response strategy is being piloted in virus hotspot capital region until Sept. 30.
Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque said some of the amendments would take effect starting Oct. 1 should Metro Manila remain under Alert Level 4.
Here are some of the amendments that the inter-agency task force on COVID-19 approved, according to Roque.
- Individuals who are allowed to leave their homes can do outdoor exercises within their general area of residence. This shall take effect immediately. Earlier, authorities allowed outdoor exercises for residents, regardless of health and vaccination status, but they shall only be limited to moving within their village or barangay.
- Wakes, funerals, inurnment of the remains of a person who died of COVID-19, "regardless of community quarantine [level]," would now be allowed. This will also be implemented immediately. Necrological services before may only be attended by immediate family members, provided the cause of death was not COVID-19.
- All contact sports are still not allowed, may it be indoor or outdoor. Those being conducted in a "bubble" are exempted.
- Personal care establishments and home services are still not allowed. This includes aesthetic and cosmetic services or procedures, make-up services, spas, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness, and holistic services and other similar procedures.
The Philippines is battling a new wave of COVID-19 infections due to the community transmission of the more virulent Delta variant, but new cases have fallen to below the 20,000-mark in the past 5 days, data showed.
Hospitals continue to struggle in coping due to the stream of virus admissions since late July, with several big facilities nationwide declaring near or full capacity.
The country's total recorded COVID-19 infections climbed to over 2.43 million on Thursday, of which 165,790 are still active.