MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Sunday approved placing the National Capital Region under Alert Level 1 effective March 1 to 15.

In a statement from the office Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, acting presidential spokesperson, the other 38 areas that will be under Alert Level 1 for the first half of March are:

• Abra, Apayao, Baguio City and Kalinga in the Cordillera Administrative Region;
• Dagupan City, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan in Region I;
• Batanes, Cagayan, City of Santiago, Isabela, and Quirino in Region II;
• Angeles City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Olongapo City, Pampanga, and Tarlac in Region 3;
• Cavite and Laguna in Region 4-A;
• Marinduque, Puerto Princesa City, and Romblon in Region 4-B; and
• Naga City and Catanduanes in Region 5.

In the Visayas, also under Alert Level 1 are:
• Aklan, Bacolod City, Capiz, and Guimaras in Region 6;
• Siquijor in Region 7; and
• Biliran in Region 8.

In Mindanao, the following areas under Alert Level 1 are:
• Zamboanga City in Region 9;
• Cagayan de Oro City and Camiguin in Region 10; and
• Davao City in Region 11

Protocols

Movement of persons regardless of age (with restrictions on crowded and closed spaces and close contact settings) and full capacity in private establishments and government agencies are allowed, subject to minimum health protocols. under Alert Level 1.

The IATF reminded that well-fitted face masks must still be worn at all times, whether outdoors or indoors in private or public establishments, including in public transportation by land, air or sea, except when eating and drinking; participating in team and individual sports in venues where ventilation standards can be maintained; and practicing outdoor sports/exercise activities where physical distance can be maintained.

Public transportation in areas under Alert Level 1 shall be at full seating capacity. For intrazonal and interzonal travels involving public land transportation between an area with a higher alert level classification and an area under Alert Level 1, the passenger capacity shall be that which has the lower passenger capacity rate between the point of origin and point of destination.

For aviation, maritime, and rail public transport operating in and out of Alert Levels 1 areas, the passenger capacity will be at 100 percent.

The use of the Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) travel management system shall not be required for interzonal travel to areas under Alert Level 1.

On contact tracing, the use of health declaration forms or paper-based contact tracing shall not be required for all agencies and establishments under Alert Level 1.

On the other hand, the use of digital contact tracing such as the StaySafe.PH application is optional.

On testing prioritization, protocols shall be implemented consistent with national guidelines for individuals who are unvaccinated or have higher exposure risk like those above 60 years old, with comorbidities, and health care workers. Testing shall be optional for other groups.

Antigen tests shall be recommended only for symptomatic individuals and in instances wherein reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction is not available.

The Hospital Infection Prevention and Control Committees may implement testing protocols in health facilities for health workers and patients based on their assessment of risk and benefit.

On isolation and quarantine, establishments are no longer required to set up isolation facilities within the workplace.

For the purpose of claiming sick leave, health benefits or other relevant processes wherein the proofs of Covid-19 management are necessary, a medical certification may suffice provided it should include the following minimum information: name of patient, severity of symptoms, diagnosis as probable or confirmed Covid-19, and date of end of quarantine and/or isolation period.

Individuals 18 years old and above will be required to present proof of full vaccination before participating in mass gatherings or entry into indoor establishments, such as but not limited to churches, restaurants, fitness studios and gyms, indoor cinemas, meetings and exhibition venues, wedding receptions, birthday parties, hotels and other accommodation establishments, and venues for election-related events.

Proof of full vaccination shall also be required for those aged at least 18 years before entry in establishments identified under the principles of the 3Cs strategy against Covid-19: confined spaces with poor ventilation; crowded places with no physical distancing; and close-contact settings with face-to-face interaction.

Alert Level 2

Under Alert Level 2 are (Luzon) Cordillera Administrative Region: Benguet, Ifugao, and Mountain Province; Region 2: Nueva Vizcaya; Region 3: Nueva Ecija and Zambales; Region 4-A: Batangas, Lucena City, Quezon, and Rizal; Region 4-B: Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Palawan; and Region 5: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, and Sorsogon; (Visayas) Region 6: Antique, Iloilo City, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental; Region 7: Bohol, Cebu Province, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, and Negros Oriental; and Region 9: Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Tacloban City, and Western Samar.

In Mindanao, Region 9: City of Isabela, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay; Region 10: Bukidnon, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental; Region 11: Davao De Oro, Davao Del Sur, Davao Del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Davao Occidental; Region 12: General Santos City, North Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat; Region 13 (Caraga(sad) Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Butuan City, and Dinagat Islands; and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Basilan, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Cotabato City, and Lanao Del Sur. (PR/OPS)