The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has placed the National Capital Region (NCR) and seven provinces back under Alert Level 2 from February 1 to 15, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Sunday.
Other areas placed under Alert Level 2 are Batanes, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Biliran, Southern Leyte, and Basilan.
Under Alert Level 2 — the second lowest in the new alert level system — certain establishments and activities are allowed at 50% capacity indoors for fully vaccinated adults (and minors, even if unvaccinated), and 70% capacity outdoors.
Also under Alert Level 2, the implementation of the " no vaccination, no ride" policy barring unvaccinated people in Metro Manila from boarding public transport will be suspended, the Department of Transportation earlier said.
Meanwhile, the following areas are under Alert Level 3:
- Cordillera Administrative Region: Abra, Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga and Mountain Province
- Region I: Dagupan City, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan
- Region II: City of Santiago, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino
- Region III: Angeles City, Aurora, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales
- Region IV-A: Batangas, Laguna, Lucena City and Quezon Province
- Region IV-B: Marinduque, Romblon, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro and Puerto Princesa City
- Region V: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Naga City and Sorsogon
- Region VI: Aklan, Antique, Bacolod City, Capiz, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Guimaras
- Region VII: Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor
- Region VIII: Ormoc City, Tacloban City, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar and Western Samar
- Region IX: City of Isabela, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay
- Region X: Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental
- Region XI: Davao City, Davao Del Sur, Davao Del Norte, Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro
- Region XII: General Santos City, North Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat
- Region XIII: Surigao del Norte, Surigao Del Sur, Agusan Del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Butuan City
- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Maguindanao, Cotabato City and Lanao Del Sur.
The alert status for Ifugao will be approved by the IATF on January 31, Nograles said.
Under Alert Level 3, several establishments are allowed to operate at 30% indoor venue capacity but exclusively for fully vaccinated people, and 50% outdoor venue capacity as long as employees are fully vaccinated.
Work at government offices is also limited to 60% of their onsite capacity.
The government earlier placed NCR and around 50 other areas under Alert Level 3 from January 16 to 31 due to the rising COVID-19 cases.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said that the alert level in NCR may only be eased to Alert Level 2 should it meet the criteria set by the government.
Among the criteria is the two-week growth rate must be at moderate risk and the average daily attack rate (ADAR) must be at around one to seven cases per 100,000 population. Healthcare utilization rate (HCUR) must also be 49% and below.
OCTA Research reported on Sunday that the NCR, which is now at moderate risk for COVID-19, has an ADAR of 23.01 and its HCUR is at 40% capacity.
The Department of Health on Saturday reported 17,382 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the nationwide tally to 3,528,796. —KG, GMA News