The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has elevated the status of Bacolod City and 27 other areas in the Philippines to Alert Level 3 starting Friday, January 14 until 31, to curb the rising spread of COVID-19, acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said Wednesday, January 12.
The elevation of Bacolod’s alert level status from 2 to 3 was to be expected amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Em Ang, Emergency Operations Center executive director, said.
This will mean a further reduction of people allowed at venues and the curtailment of certain activities, she said.
The Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas on Tuesday had also classified Bacolod City under Alert Level 3 and as a high risk area for COVID-19.
It said Bacolod City’s two week growth rate for COVID-19 cases was 330 percent.
Bacolod had 79 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 445 active cases on Wednesday, the DOH added.
Iloilo City is currently under Alert Level 3 but three other areas in Western Visayas aside from Bacolod have been added to the list.
They are Capiz, Antique and Aklan, Nograles said.
The other areas placed under Alert Level 3 are Benguet, Kalinga, Abra, La Union, Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac,Quezon Province, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Camarines Sur, Albay, Cebu City, Mandaue City, Tacloban City, Cagayan de Oro City
Davao City, Butuan City, Agusan del Sur, and Cotabato City.
All the other areas not mentioned will maintain their current level, Nograles said.
Negros Occidental that is under Alert Level 2 was not mentioned.
The IATF said that the following establishments and/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 IATF and/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/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.
The following establishments, or activities, will 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:
*Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE);
*Permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers;
*Visitor or tourist attractions such as libraries, archives, museums, galleries, exhibits, parks, plazas, public gardens, scenic viewpoints or overlooks, and the like;
*Amusement parks or theme parks;
*Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, archery halls, swimming pools, and similar venues;
*Cinemas and movie houses;
*Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for higher education and for technical-vocational education and training;
*In-person religious gatherings; gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremated remains of the COVID-19 deceased;
*Licensure or entrance/qualifying examinations administered by their respective government agency, and specialty examinations authorized by the IATF subject to the health and safety guidelines as approved by the IATF;
*Dine-in services in food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants, and eateries, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols;
*Personal care establishments such as barbershops, hair spas, hair salons, and nail spas, and those offering aesthetic/cosmetic services or procedures, make-up services, salons, spas, reflexology, and other similar procedures including home service options, subject to the sector-specific protocols of the DTI;
*Fitness studios, gyms, and venues for non-contact exercise and sports, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols. Provided that patrons/clients and workers/employees wear face masks at all times and that no group activities are conducted; and
*Film, music, and television production, subject to the joint guidelines as may be issued by the DTI, DOLE, and the DOH.
However, all workers/employees of these establishments should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the IATF said.*