EXPLAINER: What is Alert Level 1 and What Will Change?

It’s the new normal or living with COVID as an everyday disease.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

(UPDATE) From March 1, COVID restrictions in Metro Manila and select areas will be downgraded to Alert Level 1, marking the first time that any area in the Philippines will test the new normal or living with the virus.

Here's what you need to know to prepare for the new normal.

What is Alert Level 1?

Alert Level 1 is the lowest of the five-tier alert-based COVID-19 restriction system implemented by the government last year to avoid large-scale lockdowns in favor of targeted ones, allowing the economy to recover from the pandemic.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire likened Alert Level 1 to the “new normal,” according to an Inquirer report, where minimum health standards will still be observed but the capacity limits in business establishments and public transportation will be removed.

What conditions should be met to downgrade to Alert Level 1?

In order to transition to Alert Level 1, Vergeire said the average daily attack rate, or the number of people infected per 100,000 population, in a particular area should be less than seven.

Continue reading below ↓

The case trend in the entire Philippines should go down to minimal to low risk level before downgrading to Alert Level 1. Like Metro Manila, the country is at moderate risk to COVID-19.

What will be allowed under Alert Level 1?

Children, seniors , pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems will be allowed to go out of their homes under Alert Level 1.

While face masks are still be required to be worn, face shields will remain optional. Employers can also require their employees and customers to wear face shields at the workplace.

The following activities, services, and establishments can operate at full on-site capacity under Alert Level 1:

  1. Face-to-face classes
  2. Outdoor exercises
  3. Dine-in services
  4. Personal care services
  5. Gym and fitness studios
  6. Weddings, debuts, birthday parties, family reunions, baby showers and other social events
  7. Wakes, necrological services, inurnment, funerals
  8. In-person religious gatherings
  9. Gathering of individuals not belonging to the same household inside a house
  10. Staycations
  11. Cinemas
  12. On-site work for government employees
Continue reading below ↓
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