What you need to know under alert level 1?


Most people say that wearing a face mask is the new normal. It has been almost two years since the outbreak of COVID- 19, and the country has gone through much rotation of community quarantine before changing into new alert levels. These new alert levels are classified into alert level 1 up to level 5. Alert level 1 is the loosest measure that allows businesses and transportation in full operation, but it does not apply to areas with the granular lockdown. Also, plastics and acrylics as dividers are no longer required.

Metro Manila and other thirty-eight areas are placed into alert level 1 starting March 1 until March 15. It was agreed and recommended by the mayors of Metro Manila to downgrade the alert level of the National Capital Region (NCR) because Covid transmission is continuously dropping. It was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on February 27, 2022.

Here is what you need to know under alert level 1:

1. Wear facemask all the time

           Yes, it is still required to wear a facemask when leaving home going to private or public places like shopping malls, public markets, public transportation, and other establishments. However, it is not mandatory for children aged five and below to wear a facemask. 

           Why do we still need to wear facemask? One of the many reasons is that facemask is a preventive measure to stop spreading the virus. Wearing it properly, covering the mouth and nose, helps prevent the wearer from transmitting the virus to another person. Aside from that, most people are unaware that they are carrying the virus or that the person they are talking to has a virus. That is why we cannot assure that we are safe without face masks.

2. Everyone can go

           All people are permitted to go to places regardless of age and comorbidities. Interzonal or intrazonal travel is permitted, but the area has to be the same quarantine classification. Interzonal means that a person can go to other provinces, while intrazonal means a person can go to different establishments within the community. It is also no longer required to use plastics and acrylics. However, before they travel, maritime, aviation, and public transportation, they should present a vaccine card signed by a legitimate vaccination establishment or proof of quarantine completion. Local governments require to present a document before leaving or upon arrival. Additionally, children aged seventeen and below are not required to show a vaccine card in any establishment. Only eighteen to fifty-nine years old are required to present proof of vaccination.

3. Back to on-site work

           It depends on the employer, but all premises are permitted to have 100% total capacity and must follow the minimum public health protocols. All businesses are encouraged to have on-site work, and still, work from the home setup is optional. However, all employees returning for their on-site work must present a complete vaccination and booster certification. Also, the premises must practice the three C’s principles, close, crowded, and close contact. The establishment must not be a closed space, have proper ventilation, and avoid the crowd that causes everyone to have close contact.

4. Activities allowed

           Today, those fully vaccinated have the right to enter any establishment and have their vaccine card as a pass. Since establishments are allowed to have 100% capacity, minimum public health standards must be strictly observed within the premises for the safety of both employees and customers. Before entering the establishment, they must check their temperature and present a vaccine card. 

These are the activities and operational establishments permitted under alert level 1:

1. Going to church

            It is required to present proof of complete vaccination before participating in a mass. Physical distancing should be constantly observed, and wear facemask properly.

2. Face to face classes (Basic and Higher Education)

           Only students that are fully vaccinated are allowed to attend face-to-face classes. They must wear facemask all the time and the classroom must have proper ventilation.

3. Public transportation

            People can use public transportation as long as they follow the health guidelines and wear facemask properly.

4. Non-contact sports or exercise for individuals or groups

            Outdoor exercises such as jogging, biking, Zumba, and many more, are allowed for vaccinated or not fully vaccinated adults or children and do not require wearing a facemask. While indoor exercises groups such as swimming, exercise at the gym, bowling, and tennis are allowed but only for fully vaccinated and do not require wearing a facemask.

5. Contact sports 

            Whether indoor or outdoor, sports such as basketball, football, soccer, Etc., are allowed only for fully vaccinated and do not require wearing a facemask.

6. Indoor and outdoor dining

        Indoor dine-in is allowed only for fully vaccinated. In contrast, Outdoor dine-in is permitted for both fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated, and it does not require wearing a facemask.

7. Indoor cinema 

            It is allowed for fully vaccinated and must wear facemask.

8. Social events

            Parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers are permitted, whether indoor or outdoor, given that guests are wearing a facemask and fully dressed vaccinated.

9. Going to tourist attractions

            Tourist attractions such as museums, galleries, exhibits, parks, scenic viewpoints, overlooks, Etc., are open for 100% capacity but strictly observe minimum health protocols.

10. Personal care establishments

            Barbershops, hair salons, hair spas, nail spas, and those offering cosmetic services or procedures, make-up services, salon, spas, and home service options are permitted to all fully vaccinated individuals and require wearing a facemask. Employees must be fully vaccinated.

11. Gaming establishments

            Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting, and operation of cockpits are allowed to have 100% capacity.

12. Karaoke bars and indoor entertainment

           Under alert level 1, it is permitted to have 100% capacity of fully vaccinated individuals.

The country is starting to regain what they lose during this pandemic. Little by little, there has been an improvement each day because of the continuous dropping of Covid cases. Nevertheless, the virus is still out there, and it is not yet safe. It would be better to take the Covid vaccine before it’s too late.

Written by Denielle Dela Torre