The Philippine government has decided to move Metro Manila (pictured) to softer anti-Covid-19 lockdown measures from Thursday (September 16), but under a five-level alert system introduced to monitor so-called “granular lockdowns” in specific areas. There appears for now, no leeway for the Entertainment City casino resorts to reopen.
In guidelines published by the office of the presidential spokesperson late on Monday, the country’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has moved the capital region to a new general community quarantine setup.
The new framework features five-level alert system to determine restrictions on certain activities in specific areas of Metro Manila, including on casinos. The Philippines Department of Health will determine which zones will be placed in which alert level.
Epimaco Densing, Undersecretary of the Interior and Local Government, told Philippines media that the whole of the capital region will be placed under “Alert Level 4”, the second-strictest under the four-level alert protocol. A decision confirmed on Tuesday by the office of the presidential spokesperson. The classification of alert levels will be done weekly, stated the announcement.
Under Alert Level 4, casinos, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming venues must stay closed, except if given the green light either by the Inter-Agency Task Force, or the Office of the President, Rodrigo Duterte, according to the Inter-Agency Task Force guidelines.
Under “Alert Level 3”, casinos can operate at 30 percent of their venue capacity, a figure that goes up to 50 percent under “Alert Level 2”. “Alert Level 1” would have the least restrictions, allowing casinos to operate at full capacity.
Instead of a blanket downgrade in lockdown for the whole of Metro Manila, the system foresees “granular lockdown measures” on certain areas such as either neighbourhoods, streets or subdivisions identified as high risk for Covid-19.
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