MANILA (UPDATE) - Christmas caroling is allowed in areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, as the number of new infections declined, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Wednesday.
Interior Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said individuals must be vaccinated against the respiratory disease if they conduct caroling indoors, which is subject to the establishment's capacity.
"Under Alert 2, caroling is allowed provided that (minimum public health standard) is strictly followed and subject to the operational capacity of the venue of the caroling: 50 percent and vaccinated individuals only if indoor, and 70 percent if outdoor," Malaya told ABS-CBN News.
Carolers must wear face shield "as of now", but the policy may change as the Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19 is set to meet Thursday to decide whether to lift or keep the mandatory use of the protective equipment in select areas, Malaya added.
Metro Manila mayors earlier this week recommended to lift the use of face shield, except in hospitals and medical facilities. Manila Mayor and presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso has already implemented the proposal.
The health department has yet to issue any statement regarding conducting Christmas carols.
Last year, the traditional practice was banned in a bid to curb the spread of the respiratory disease which has so far killed over 44,000 in the country as of Tuesday.
Metro Manila shifted to Alert Level 2 from Alert Level 3 on Nov. 5. This will remain in effect until Nov. 21.
The current level allows greater mobility among the public, and more tourist spots to resume operations. Minors are also allowed to go out and go to establishments and malls, regardless of vaccination status.
Fairs, peryas or kids' amusement areas such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides are also now permitted.
The government previously encouraged the public to limit Christmas celebrations to family members.
On Tuesday, the Department of Health reported 1,409 new COVID-19 cases, marking the 8th day that the country logged fewer than 3,000 fresh infections and its lowest since mid-February this year. However many laboratories failed to submit data.
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