The Philippine government will maintain Alert Level 2 across the majority of the country, including Metro Manila, until at least 15 December as it looks to prevent the new Omicron COVID-19 variant from gaining entry.
Despite talks in recent weeks of lowering the COVID-19 alert level to Level 1 due to the continued fall in case numbers, Malacañang opted instead to take a more cautious approach on the advice of the Inter-Agency Task Force, it said.
Under Alert Level 2, certain venues – including casinos, horse racing venues, cockfighting, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments – can operate at 50% capacity for fully vaccinated people or those aged under 18. Also able to operate at 50% are MICE venues, theme parks, tourist attractions, recreational venues, gyms, theaters, bars, clubs and more, while outdoor venues can operate at 70%.
Also under Alert Level 2 until 15 December are Pampanga, home to the Clark Freeport Zone, and Cebu.
The Philippine Department of Health reported 665 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the country’s lowest daily tally in more than 16 months. The country has not yet detected any cases of the Omicron variant.