Philippines Eases COVID-19 Restrictions — BenarNews
After imposing one of the longest lockdowns in the world, the Philippine government on Monday announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Metro Manila and dozens of other lowest-level locations, starting from Tuesday and for at least two weeks.
Facilities and public transport services can operate at full capacity under Alert Level 1, but in-person lessons for primary schools are subject to prior approval by the president, the government’s COVID-19 task force has said. .
“Tomorrow, March 1, 2022, is the start of the implementation of Alert Level 1 in Metro Manila and 38 other locations in the Philippines,” Karlo Nograles, acting spokesman for the Philippines, told reporters. President Rodrigo Duterte.
“In places below Alert Level 1, the government thanks you for your cooperation and for following minimum public health standards, and for working together to increase vaccinations so that we can get through this pandemic,” he said. -he declares. “We are seeing the same levels of cooperation in other areas and seeing the same patterns of progress.”
Alert Level 1 means there is a low risk of infection and at least 70% of the target population has been fully vaccinated, Nograles said. The change must be in place until at least March 15.
As restrictions are eased, Filipinos will be required to wear masks at all times except when eating, drinking and exercising outdoors while observing social distancing, the government said.
In addition, adults are required to show proof of full vaccination before participating in mass gatherings or entering covered establishments such as gymnasiums, cinemas, conferences and election-related venues, officials said. responsible.
More importantly, people of all ages and health conditions can travel to areas outside their home region.
The move follows the reopening of the country’s borders to foreign tourists in mid-February after nearly two years. Tourists must present proof of vaccination but do not need to be quarantined upon arrival.
Despite the easing of restrictions, the Health Ministry reminded people that the pandemic was not over as the government agency urged Filipinos to self-regulate.
“We have not yet reached the endemic state. We are now at a level where we are still transitioning to our desired new normal,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.
Vergeire warned that the government could reimpose stricter regulations in the event of a new wave of COVID-19 infections.
“Vaccination complacency is what we are looking at right now,” she said, noting that many people, including those in the capital region, have apparently failed to to get vaccinated.
“During this time that Omicron is here – and this is supported by science and evidence – we need an extra dose or booster so that we receive proper or adequate protection against this variant,” he said. she said, referring to the highly infectious strain of the coronavirus disease.
The health department recorded 951 new cases of COVID-19 and 50 deaths on Monday, a sharp drop from the all-time high of 39,004 recorded infections on January 15. The Southeast Asian nation has recorded over 3.6 million infections and over 56,000 deaths since the pandemic began here in early 2020.