MANILA, Philippines, January 13 ------ The government placed 28 more areas under Alert Level 3 to stem the surging cases of COVID-19 tied to the highly infectious Omicron variant. The updated classifications would be implemented from January 14 to 31, acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles announced Wednesday.
Provinces in Luzon that will be under Alert Level 3 are Benguet, Kalinga and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region; La Union, Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan in Ilocos; Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Quirino in Cagayan Valley; Nueva Ecija and Tarlac in Central Luzon; Quezon in CALABARZON; Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro in MIMAROPA; and Camarines Sur and Albay in Bicol.
Areas in the Visayas that will be escalated to Alert Level 3 are Bacolod City, Aklan, Capiz and Antique in Western Visayas; Cebu City and Mandaue City in Central Visayas; and Tacloban City in Eastern Visayas.
Mindanao areas to be placed under Alert Level 3 are Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao; Davao City in Davao region; Butuan City and Agusan del Sur in CARAGA; and Cotabato City in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) would meet Thursday (January 13) to discuss the alert level classification for other areas, including Metro Manila, which would take effect from January 16 to 31. Areas that are already under Alert Level 3 are Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Baguio City, Dagupan City, Santiago City, Cagayan, Angeles City, Bataan, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Zambales, Batangas, Lucena City, Naga City, Iloilo City, and Lapu-Lapu City. The alert status of these areas will lapse on January 15.
Under Alert Level 3, a number of establishments or activities are allowed up to 30 percent indoor capacity for fully vaccinated persons and 50% outdoor venue capacity. Activities and establishments considered as high-risk for COVID-19 transmission are not allowed namely face-to-face classes for basic education, except those previously approved by the IATF or the Office of the President; contact sports except those conducted under a bubble-type setup; fun fairs and kid amusement industries; venues with live voice or wind instrument performers and audiences; casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and cockpit operations, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except those that were authorized by the IATF or the Office of the President; and gatherings in residences with persons not belonging to the same household.