For the first time since pandemic lockdowns began, Metro Manila will be entering the lowest alert level designation starting March 1.
Last week, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) met and formally recommended the shift to Alert Level 1 to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
The IATF has now approved the measure after deliberating over the weekend.
In addition to the National Capital Region, 38 other areas will be joining the shift to Alert Level 1:
- Baguio City Kalinga
- Dagupan City
- Ilocos Norte
- Ilocos Sur
- La Union
- City of Santiago
- Angeles City
- Olongapo City
- Puerto Princesa City
- Naga City
- Bacolod City
- Zamboanga City
- Cagayan de Oro City
- Davao City
The shift to Alert Level 1 will allow covered areas to engage in inter zonal and intrazonal travel regardless of age and comorbidities.
All establishments, persons, or activities are permitted to operate and work at full on-site capacity, subject to minimum public health standards.
Meanwhile, in-person or face-to-face classes for the basic education level will be subject to approval by the Office of the President.
In related news, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is reportedly considering expanding the number coding scheme under Alert Level 1.
The current scheme in effect covers the evening "rush hour" from 5 PM to 8 PM. The MMDA will monitor the first few days of Alert Level 1 in Metro Manila before deciding on whether to modify the existing protocol. Possible changes could include an additional window in the morning hours or an expansion to all-day number coding implementation.