It was on the 21st of January in the year 2020 that the Philippines received its first coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case, which came from a resident of Wuhan, China, who had traveled from the territory of Hong Kong. After the initial case, no general actions were taken, which resulted in the beginning of a series of COVID cases that would continue indefinitely. The current Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte imposed a two-week suspension for students from primary school to college division on March 08, 2020, due to the non-stop increase in the number of incidents reported by authorities. After two months of deliberation on the first COVID case, the government officially declared the first nationwide lockdown on March 15, 2020, the following week after the students’ suspension. As researchers were trying to figure out how to slow the spread of the virus, which later turned into a pandemic outbreak, the Philippines’ Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) community guidelines were developed in 2021. Under the IATF Community Guidelines are the different level systems for the COVID-19 response. This Guidelines include Community Quarantine Classifications Alert Level 1, Alert Level 2, Alert Level 3, Alert Level 4, and Alert Level 5 in order to effectively manage the dangers and transmission of the virus.
In light of the fact that more than half of the country’s population is currently exposed to a low-risk COVID situation, the government has decided that the Philippines will follow the IATF Guidelines 2021, notably the Alert Level 1 guidelines, which has started last March 15, 2022.
The following are some of the basic regulations when it comes to Alert Level 1
- It is no longer necessary to wear face shields, however face masks will continue to be worn.
Read Also: Are we ready to go mask-less?
- Both public and private institutions are permitted to function at full capacity as long as they adhere to the bare minimum of public health standards.
- The Department of Education (DepEd) for primary and secondary schools and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) for the universities and colleges may allow face-to-face classrooms to run at full capacity, provided that they adhere to the rules set forth by the government. The Local Government Units of each city and municipality will also be followed, as will the state and federal government agencies.
- In accordance with the establishments that are working at full capacity, public transit can now operate at full capacity as well. Everyone, however, must be mindful of their surroundings and practice self-care while commuting.
- There is no longer a requirement for contact tracing or the presenting of vaccination cards. However, establishments that are designated under the principles of the 3C’s strategy against COVID-19 must require confirmation of vaccination before they can be admitted to the premises.
As the Philippines has been dealing with the challenges of a pandemic for the past two years, adjusting to the new normal has become a part of our daily routine. It must have been confusing to go through the many phases of the Philippines’ IATF Guidelines 2021 level systems, but here we are now, at the level with the greatest amount of freedom we could possibly have during the pre-pandemic period.
With that, here are some events that you might have missed but that you can still take part in while on Alert Level 1
1. Going back on-site
Work-from-home (WFH) has long been acknowledged as the preferred setting for the new normal. However, after more than a year, and with establishments now able to run at full capacity, enterprises can resume operations on-site. According to research investigations, the WFH configuration has been depleting and has been producing repeated burn outs. Fortunately, on-site working can now be resumed and exploited freely within the Alert Level 1 Guidelines.
2. Open the Schools
The option to participate in on-site classes has become available to students as face-to-face classes are now permitted. Specifically for college students, this will be of great advantage because they are typically prepared for the industrial setting before graduating from college. In addition to that, attending face-to-face sessions provides medical students with more relevant and proper training, which is especially important now that we are dealing with a pandemic, which means that we are in need of more medical practitioners to assist us in our efforts.
3. Wanna Get VacSEAnated?
As summer has only recently begun, administering the Alert Level 1 was an excellent choice of timing. A trip to the beach or simply swimming in the pool of great condominiums would be the most enjoyable pastime on these hot summer days. Being able to take a break from all of the job and school obligations would be a wonderful kind of self-care now that interzonal and intrazonal traveling has been established.
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4. Fly High, Butterfly
If swimming and tanning your skin do not pique your interest, then traveling to relaxing destinations such as Tagaytay or Baguio, or even outside the country, will be more to your liking. Under the alert level 1 guideline, The lifting of the travel prohibition and the corresponding reduction in quarantine days means that traveling is once again far more convenient and economical for everyone. Safe, Swift, Smart Passage (S-PaSS), swab test results, and other requirements would no longer be necessary to be submitted. All that is required is that you obtain those doses of vaccine in order to remain protected against the COVID-19 that will very certainly be with us for a long time.
5. “Are you not entertained?”
But if you prefer a more affordable and less time-consuming mode of transportation, a trip to the movies or to an arcade can be the perfect choice for you. Cinemas and amusement parks have now reopened as a result of the government’s decision. Although the cinemas may have imposed a one-seat-apart rule, what is crucial is that we may watch a movie with someone with whom we can have a discussion afterward. An enjoyable film can thus serve as an effective tool for diverting your attention away from all of the stress, even if it is only for an hour or two. When it comes to amusement parks and arcades, individuals of all ages are welcome because the goal is to give them with entertaining games and allow them to reconnect with their inner child.
LIST OF CITIES (CURRENTLY) UNDER ALERT LEVEL 1
- National Capital Region (NCR) – Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Manila, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pasay, Pasig, Parañaque, Pateros, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela.
- Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) – Abra, Apayao, Baguio City, and Kalinga.
- Region 1 (Ilocos Region) – Dagupan City, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan.
- Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) – Batanes, Cagayan, City of Santiago, Isabela, and Quirino.
- Region 3 (Central Luzon) – Angeles City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Olongapo City, Pampanga, and Tarlac.
- Region 4A (CALABARZON) – Cavite and Laguna.
- Region 4B (MIMAROPA) – Marinduque, Puerto Princesa City, and Romblon.
- Region 5 (Bicol Region) – Naga City and Catanduanes.
- Region 6 (Western Visayas) – Aklan, Bacolod City, Capiz, and Guimaras.
- Region 7 (Central Visayas) – Siquijor.
- Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) – Biliran.
- Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) – Zamboanga City.
- Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) – Cagayan de Oro City and Camiguin.
- Region 11 (Davao) – Davao City.
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Written by Vincent Sanchez