WHEREAS, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), since having been declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), has irreversibly affected millions of lives and families worldwide. Its unprecedented speed of transmission and infectivity has placed a huge burden on essential areas of governance, most importantly in vulnerable sectors such as the economy, education, and healthcare;

WHEREAS, Section 2 of Executive Order No. (E.O.) 112, (s. 2020) provides that provincial governors shall be authorized to impose, lift or extend the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in component cities and municipalities upon the concurrence of the relevant regional counterpart body of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF); and, that the mayors of cities and municipalities are likewise authorized to impose, lift or extend ECQ in barangays, upon the concurrence of the relevant regional counterpart body of the IATF; provided, that this is without prejudice to the authority of the IATF to directly impose, lift or extend ECQ in these areas should circumstances call for it;

WHEREAS, the IATF issued the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines (IATF Omnibus Guidelines), as amended, to harmonize and codify existing guidelines of the IATF and member-agencies pertaining to community quarantine, which shall be applied to all regions, provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays placed under community quarantine;

WHEREAS, IATF Resolution No. 136-A (s.2021) issued on 03 September 2021, provided for, among others, the shift in the policy of classifying Provinces, Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs), and Independent Component Cities (ICCs) for purposes of community quarantine. In the new classification framework, which focuses on the imposition of granular lockdown measures, community quarantine shall be reduced to either ECQ or General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with the latter having an alert-level system (Alert Level 1 to 4) with each alert level limiting restrictions only to identified high-risk activities. The pilot area for this policy shift shall be the National Capital Region (NCR) starting from 16 September 2021, or the date of implementation, whichever comes first.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVED, that in consideration of the premises set forth herein, the IATF issues these Guidelines to enjoin and proactively advocate the principles of 3C’s (Closed, Crowded, and Close Contact) strategy against COVID-19 to curb the further spread of infection which shall be applied in the NCR beginning 16 September 2021:

For purposes of these Guidelines, the following shall be defined as follows:

  1. COVID-19 Alert Levels System – refers to the new Community Quarantine Classifications for dealing with COVID-19 covering entire cities and/or municipalities; aimed to manage and minimize the risk of the disease through System Indicators, Triggers and Thresholds determined by the IATF Sub-Technical Working Group on Data Analytics to specify the public health and social measures to be taken in relation to the COVID-19 response, as may be updated based on new scientific knowledge, information about the effectiveness of control measures in the country and overseas, and its application.
    a. Alert Level 1 – refers to areas wherein case transmission is low and decreasing, total bed utilization rate, and intensive care unit utilization rate is low.
    b. Alert Level 2 – refers to areas wherein case transmission is low and decreasing, healthcare utilization is low, or case counts are low but increasing, or case counts are low and decreasing but total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate is increasing.
    c. Alert Level 3 – refers to areas wherein case counts are high and/or increasing, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate at increasing utilization.
    d. Alert Level 4 – refers to areas wherein case counts are high and/or increasing, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate at high utilization.
    e. Alert Level 5 – refers to areas wherein case counts are alarming, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate at critical utilization.
  2. Granular Lockdown – refers to a micro-level quarantine for areas identified as “critical zones” by the local government unit (LGU) which may be declared regardless of Alert Level.
  3. Minimum public health standards (MPHS) – refers to the national, local, and sector-specific guidelines on mitigation measures for its COVID-19 response across all settings by implementing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), consistent with the Department of Health (DOH) Administrative Order No. 2021-0043 or the Omnibus Guidelines on the Minimum Public Health Standards for the Safe Reopening of Institutions. This term shall also encompass specific NPIs of community mitigation strategies or public health measures that do not involve vaccines, medications, or other pharmaceutical interventions, that individuals and communities can carry out in order to reduce transmission rates, contact rates, and the duration of infectiousness of individuals in the population.

PART I.

ALERT LEVEL SYSTEM FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE

SECTION [1] GENERAL GUIDELINES

  1. The DOH shall identify the Alert Level of the pilot area. This area shall follow the protocols consistent with the declared Alert Level. For the duration of the pilot implementation, classification of the pilot area shall be done weekly, unless otherwise specified.
  2. Close contacts, regardless of the vaccination status and possession of a negative COVID-19 test result, of probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases shall undergo fourteen (14)-day quarantine in accordance with the isolation and quarantine protocols set by the DOH.
  3. LGUs in pilot areas shall submit on a daily basis to their respective Regional
    Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) such data as determined by National Government Agencies based on the template provided for by the IATF Sub-Technical Working Group on Data Analytics.
  4. MPHS shall be implemented at all times consistent with the DOH Administrative Order No. 2021-0043 or the Omnibus Guidelines on the Minimum Public Health Standards for the Safe Reopening of Institutions.

SECTION [2] GUIDELINES FOR AREAS UNDER ALERT LEVEL 5. Areas placed under Alert Level 5 shall observe the guidelines applicable to Enhanced Community Quarantine as provided for under the IATF Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, as amended.

SECTION [3] GUIDELINES FOR AREAS UNDER ALERT LEVEL 4. Areas placed under Alert Level 4 shall observe the following protocols:

  1. The following persons shall not be allowed outside of their respective residences: (i) persons below eighteen (18) years old, (ii) those who are over sixty-five years (65) of age, (iii) those with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, or other health risks, and (iv) pregnant women; provided, that they shall be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices.
  2. Intrazonal and interzonal travel for persons not otherwise required to remain at their residences in the preceding paragraph may be allowed subject to the reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination.
  3. Individual outdoor exercises shall be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status but shall be limited within the general area of their residence, e.g. within the barangay, purok, subdivision, and/or village. Provided, that the minimum public health standards and precautions such as the wearing of face masks, and the maintenance of social distancing protocols are observed.
  4. The following establishments and/or activities characterized as high-risk for transmission shall not be allowed to operate, or be undertaken in areas classified under Alert level 4:
    a. Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits;
    b. Indoor venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE);
    c. Indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, and venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters;
    d. Outdoor and indoor amusement parks or theme parks, funfairs/peryas,
    kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie
    rides;
    e. Indoor recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues;
    f. Indoor limited face to face or in-person classes, examinations, and other education-related activities at all levels, except those previously approved by the IATF and/or of the Office of the President;
    g. Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except as may be authorized by the IATF or the Office of the President;
    h. Social events such as but not limited to concerts and parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers, parades, processions, motorcades, and gatherings at residences with any person outside of one’s immediate household;
    i. Indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools;
    j. All contact sports, except those conducted under a bubble-type setup as provided for under relevant guidelines adopted by the IATF, and approved by the LGU where such games shall be held;
    k. Personal care services, which include medical aesthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, make-up salons, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness, and holistic centers, and other similar establishments; acupuncture and electrocautery establishments, and massage therapy including sports therapy establishments. It also includes establishments providing tanning
    services, body piercings, tattooing, and similar services. Home service for these activities are likewise not permitted; and
    l. Specialized markets of the Department of Tourism such as Staycations.
  5. Outdoor or al fresco dine-in services in restaurants and eateries shall be allowed at a maximum of thirty percent (30%) venue/seating capacity regardless of vaccination status. Indoor dine-in services may be allowed at a limited ten (10%)
  6. Venue/seating capacity but will cater only to individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor or al fresco capacity. Provided, that all workers/employees of these establishments have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Provided further, that LGUs where these restaurants and eateries are located may decrease the allowable venue capacity. Provided further still, that the joint guidelines of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Tourism promoting MPHS in these establishments i.e., placing of acrylic or similar dividers, regular disinfection, and appropriate seating configuration ensuring social distancing, shall be strictly enforced and observed. The DTI and DOT are directed to issue guidelines promoting safe behaviors in these settings.
  7. Personal care services limited to barbershops, hair spas, nail spas, and beauty salons shall be allowed at a maximum of thirty percent (30%) venue/seating capacity if such services are conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status. These establishments are allowed to operate at a limited ten percent (10%) indoor venue/seating capacity but may only cater to individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor capacities. Provided, that patrons/clients and service providers wear face masks at all times. Provided further, that all workers/employees of these establishments are fully vaccinated
    against COVID-19. Provided further still, that MPHS shall be strictly maintained. Provided further still, that there is no objection from the LGU where these activities may take place.
  8. In-person religious gatherings shall be allowed at a maximum of thirty percent (30%) venue/seating capacity if conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status. These gatherings may be allowed at a limited ten (10%) venue/seating capacity but may accommodate only individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor capacities. Provided, that pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, or other religious ministers and the assistants of these religious congregations have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Provided further, that the religious denominations should strictly observe their submitted protocols and the MPHS. Provided further still, that there is no objection from the LGU where these activities may take place. Outdoor religious gatherings shall be
    limited to the conduct of religious worship and/or service. Processions and other similar mobile religious gatherings shall not be allowed.
  9. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed, provided that the same shall be limited to immediate family members, upon satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and with full compliance with the prescribed minimum public health standards.
  10. Except those located in areas covered by granular lockdowns, all other establishments, or activities not otherwise specified in Section 3(4) may be allowed to operate or be undertaken at 100% on-site or venue/seating capacity, provided they implement the minimum public health standards. However, they are encouraged to operate with a minimal on-site capacity necessary to implement full operations, while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements. For this purpose, the movement of workers of said establishments residing in areas not covered by granular lockdowns shall remain unrestricted.
  11. Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall remain to be fully operational and shall adhere to at least 20% on-site capacity while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements.

SECTION [4] GUIDELINES FOR AREAS UNDER ALERT LEVEL 3. Areas placed
under Alert Level 3 shall observe the following protocols:

  1. Movement of persons shall be allowed except for reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities, as may be determined by the LGUs, which should not be stricter as those prescribed under Alert Level 4 and subject to the oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of their respective RIATF. Provided, that they shall be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices.
  2. Intrazonal and interzonal travel for persons not otherwise required to remain at
    their residences in the preceding paragraph may be allowed subject to the
    reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination.
  3. Individual outdoor exercises shall be allowed for all ages regardless of
    comorbidities or vaccination status.
  4. Except for those located in areas under granular lockdowns, the following establishments, or activities, shall be allowed to operate, or be undertaken at a maximum of 30% on-site or venue/seating capacity. Business establishments listed hereunder that are awarded Safety Seal Certifications shall be allowed to operate at an additional ten (10) percentage points beyond the prescribed on-site or venue/seating capacity, whichever is applicable.
    a. Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits;
    b. Indoor venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE);
    c. Indoor recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues,
    d. Indoor face to face or in-person examinations approved by the IATF;
    e. Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments;
    f. In-person religious gatherings;
    g. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19;
    h. Social events such as but not limited to concerts and parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and 6birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers, motorcades, and gatherings at residences with any person outside of one’s immediate household;
    i. Indoor dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants, and eateries;
    j. Indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools;
    k. Personal care services which include beauty salons, beauty parlors, medical aesthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, make-up salons, nail spas, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness, and holistic centers, and other similar establishments; acupuncture and electrocautery establishments, and massage therapy including sports therapy establishments. It also includes establishments providing tanning services, body piercings, tattooing, and similar services.
  5. The operations of (i) indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, and venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters, and (ii) outdoor and indoor amusement parks or theme parks, funfairs/peryas, kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides shall remain to be prohibited.
  6. All other establishments, or activities in areas not covered by granular lockdowns and which are not otherwise specified in Section 4(4), may be allowed to operate or be undertaken at 100% on-site or venue/seating capacity, as the case may be, provided they implement minimum public health standards. As such, the movement of persons residing in areas not covered by granular lockdowns working in allowed establishments/activities remains unrestricted. However, they are encouraged to operate with a minimal on-site capacity necessary to implement full operations, while applying work-from-home and other flexible
    work arrangements. For this purpose, the movement of workers of said establishments residing in areas not covered by granular lockdowns shall remain unrestricted.
  7. Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall remain to be fully operational and shall adhere to at least 30% on-site capacity while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements.

SECTION [5] GUIDELINES FOR AREAS UNDER ALERT LEVEL 2. Areas placed under Alert Level 2 shall observe the following protocols:

  1. Movement of persons shall be allowed except for reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities, as may be determined by the LGUs, which should not be stricter as those prescribed under Alert Level 4 and subject to the oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of their respective RIATF. Provided, that they shall be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices.
  2. Intrazonal and interzonal travel for persons not otherwise required to remain at their residences in the preceding paragraph may be allowed subject to the reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination.
  3. Individual outdoor exercises shall be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status.
  4. Except those located in areas under granular lockdowns, the following establishments, persons, or activities shall be allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at a maximum of 50% on-site or venue/seating capacity. Business establishments listed hereunder awarded with Safety Seal Certifications shall be allowed to operate at an additional ten (10) percentage points beyond the prescribed on-site or venue/seating capacity, whichever is applicable:
    a. Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits;
    b. Indoor venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE);
    c. Indoor entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas;
    d. Amusement parks or theme parks, funfairs/peryas, kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides;
    e. Indoor recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues;
    f. Indoor limited face to face or in-person classes, examinations, and other education-related activities at all levels;
    g. Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments;
    h. In-person religious gatherings;
    i. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19;
    j. Social events such as but not limited to concerts and parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers, and gatherings at residences with any person outside of one’s immediate household;
    k. Indoor dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants, and eateries;
    l. Indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools; m. Personal care services which include beauty salons, beauty parlors, medical aesthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, make-up salons, nail
    spas, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness, and holistic centers, and other similar establishments; acupuncture and electrocautery establishments, and massage therapy including sports therapy establishments. It also 8includes establishments providing tanning services, body piercings, tattooing, and similar services.
  5. All other establishments, persons, or activities in areas not covered by granular lockdowns and which are not otherwise specified in Section 5(4) may operate at 100% on-site or venue/seating capacity, as the case may be, provided they implement minimum public health standards. As such, the movement of persons residing in areas not covered by granular lockdowns working in allowed establishments/activities remains unrestricted. However, they are encouraged to operate with a minimal on-site capacity necessary to implement full operations, while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements. For this purpose, the movement of workers of said establishments residing in areas not covered by granular lockdowns shall remain unrestricted.
  6. Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall remain to be fully operational and shall adhere to at least 50% on-site capacity while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements.

  1. SECTION [6] GUIDELINES FOR AREAS UNDER ALERT LEVEL 1. Areas placed under Alert Level 1 shall observe the following protocols:
  1. Movement of persons shall be allowed except for reasonable restrictions on activities and spaces that are closed, crowded, or enable close contact, as may be identified by the LGUs subject to the oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of their respective RIATF.
  2. Except for those located in areas under granular lockdowns, all establishments, persons, or activities, are allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at full on-site or venue/seating capacity provided it is consistent with minimum public health standards.

PART II

GUIDELINES ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GRANULAR LOCKDOWNS

Section [1] AUTHORITY TO DECLARE. The authority to impose granular lockdown shall
be given to the city and municipal mayors with respect to their component barangays subject to the concurrence of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF), and individual houses where one household member has been confirmed, residential buildings, streets, blocks, puroks, subdivisions, and/or villages within their jurisdiction.

SECTION [2] PARAMETERS FOR DECLARATION AND IMPLEMENTATION. The epidemiological parameters in the declaration of a granular lockdown, including specific
interventions and activities to be conducted in such areas, shall comply with the National Task Force COVID-19 Memorandum Circular No. 2 dated 15 June 2020 or the Operational
Guidelines on the Application of the Zoning Containment Strategy in the Localization of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Response.

SECTION [3] DURATION. Granular lockdowns shall be for a period of not less than
fourteen (14) days.

SECTION [4] EFFECTIVITY.

  1. Declaration of granular lockdowns by local chief executives shall be provisionally effective immediately and shall include due notice to the RIATF. The RIATF shall immediately act on the said declaration.
  2. The IATF retains its mandate to impose and/or lift lockdowns on highly urbanized cities and independent component cities in accordance with Executive Order No. 112 (s.2020).

SECTION [5] SECURITY. The Philippine National Police (PNP) shall ensure peace and
order at all times. They shall make sure that security protocols are maintained in lockdown areas.

SECTION [6] MOVEMENT. The list of Authorized Persons Outside Residences under the
IATF Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the
Philippines, as amended, shall not apply in areas under granular lockdowns. Only health care workers (HCWs) and non-health personnel working in hospitals, laboratories, and dialysis facilities if their institutions are unable to provide accommodation for their personnel, and uniformed personnel tasked to enforce the granular lockdown, shall be allowed to move within, into, and out of the area under granular lockdown. The following shall be allowed to enter and/or exit granular lockdown areas for specific purposes:

  1. Overseas Filipino Workers bound for international travel, and those returning to their respective residences after having completed facility-based quarantine upon arrival;
  2. Individuals whose home or residence are located within an area under granular lockdown may enter the said area for the sole purpose of returning to their respective homes or residences but must thereafter remain therein for the duration of the granular lockdown;
  3. Individuals under exceptional circumstances such as, but not limited to, those seeking urgent medical attention as validated by the municipal/city health officer; and
  4. Food and essential items that are intended for delivery within an area under granular lockdown provided that they can only be unloaded at border collection points designated by the LGU.

SECTION [7]. ASSISTANCE TO AFFECTED INDIVIDUALS. Households within areas under granular lockdown shall be provided assistance by their respective LGUs and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in accordance with their
relevant guidelines.

SECTION [8]. REPORTING.

  1. LGUs shall report details of their granular lockdowns to the Department of the Interior and Local Government following a prescribed format which shall thereafter be submitted to their respective NTF Regional Task Force.
  2. RTFs shall monitor all areas under granular lockdowns in the region, and shall provide monitoring reports to the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

SECTION [9]. INCORPORATION. Succeeding issuances of the Department of the Interior and Local Government relative to the imposition of granular lockdowns, if any,
shall form an integral part of these Guidelines.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the provisions of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, as amended, insofar as they are not inconsistent with these Guidelines shall be applied suppletorily. In case of doubt, these Guidelines shall prevail.

RESOLVED FINALLY, that the IATF Chairperson and the Co-Chairperson shall be duly authorized to sign these Guidelines on behalf of the IATF.

APPROVED during the 139th Inter-Agency Task Force Meeting, as reflected in the minutes of the meeting, held this September 13, 2021, via video conference.

Signed

FRANCISCO T. DUQUE III
Secretary, Department of Health
IATF Chairperson

KARLO ALEXEI B. NOGRALES
Secretary, Office of the Cabinet Secretariat
IATF Co-Chairperson