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IATF: Metro Manila under Alert Level 2 until December 15

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IATF: Metro Manila under Alert Level 2 until December 15
Shoppers stay at the assigned dining area inside a mall in Antipolo City on Aug. 24, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — The government's pandemic task force has approved the recommendation for Metro Manila to stay under Alert Level 2 from December 1 to 15, a quarantine classification that allows more economic activity and has fewer restrictions.

President Rodrigo Duterte generally adopts the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, which has been setting pandemic response policy since March 2020.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, acting presidential spokesperson and spokesperson for the IATF, made the announcement on Monday. The task force decision to keep the National Capital Region under Alert Level 2 comes as the country tallied 665 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest since July 2020.

The announcement also comes as travel restrictions like flight suspensions and heightened quarantine protocols were announced against the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. 

RELATED: A guide to the COVID-19 alert levels system

Under Alert Level 2, the maximum operational capacities for several businesses and activities is 50% for indoor venues, fully vaccinated persons, and those below 18 years of age, even if unvaccinated and 70% for outdoor venues provided all workers of the establishments are fully inoculated against COVID-19.

Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 2 in early November as daily cases began to go down.

The government has emphasized that the decline in cases should not mean being lax about basic safety protocol like practicing physical distancing, wearing face masks and frequent hand-washing. 

The government on Monday kicked off a three-day vaccination drive in areas outside the NCR that aims to inoculate at least nine million people against COVID-19. 

RELATED: NCR Alert Level 2 to yield P7.2 billion in output

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