Review guidelines for fully vaxxed, government urged

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Review guidelines for fully vaxxed, government urged
The Quezon City government continues to inoculate food delivery riders and public transport drivers at the parking area of a mall in Fairview, Quezon City on Aug. 13, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion is urging the government’s pandemic task force to review the guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals under the alert level system.

In a letter to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles and National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr., Concepcion said while the guidelines in the new alert level system allow only fully vaccinated people to engage in indoor activities in select business establishments under Alert Level 4, it did not provide clear qualifying conditions for Alert Levels 2 and 3.

“This can present a risk both to the unvaccinated customers and the employees of the establishment,” the Go Negosyo founder said.

He called on the government to consider allowing only fully vaccinated individuals for indoor business transactions across Alert Levels 4-2, and increase the capacity of businesses allowed to open.

“We have to be consistent and extend privileges for the fully vaccinated across all alert levels as the goal is to reopen safely. If we reach Alert Level 1 where it is deemed safe, then anyone can freely move. But if there are risks, let’s protect those who have yet to be vaccinated,” Concepcion said.

Earlier, he proposed that indoor dine-in restaurants and personal care services be allowed to accommodate more fully vaccinated customers under Alert Levels 2 and 3.

“We can increase the capacity even further for the fully vaccinated as we move to lower alert levels. A higher percentage means more chances for the businesses to gain back months’ worth of losses so they can pay back their financial obligations,” Concepcion said.

Under Alert Levels 2 and 3, the allowed capacity for indoor dine-in and personal care services is 50 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

Metro Manila remains under Alert Level 4, which allows 10 percent capacity for indoor dine-in and personal care service establishments only for vaccinated customers, and 30 percent for outdoor operations for customers regardless of vaccination status.

By allowing greater mobility for the fully vaccinated, Concepcion said it would be possible to safely bring the economy to recovery.

“In this way we can capture the safe reopening of the economy while preventing surge in COVID cases brought by unvaccinated individuals,” he said.

Concepcion said the fourth quarter is seen as a perfect opportunity to help businesses and the economy bounce back.

To push for the safe reopening of the economy, he has proposed the implementation of the “bakuna bubble” where fully vaccinated individuals would have more mobility.

As more Filipinos are receiving their COVID-19 jabs and vaccines are expected to arrive, Concepcion is optimistic that the restrictions would be temporary.

“We are hopeful that the new lockdown system will bring about successes such as economic recovery, bringing down the cases of infection and preventing unemployment,” he said.

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