GUIDE: Granular Lockdown & Alert Levels System in Metro Manila

Metro Manila will be on GCQ Alert Level 4, with the curfew hours effective from 10 PM to 4 AM.

The  Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has announced the guidelines on the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns and alert levels system in Metro Manila.

The new classification framework will be implemented in Metro Manila when it shifts to General Community Quarantine starting this September 16, 2021. Metro Manila will be on GCQ Alert Level 4, with the curfew hours effective from 10 PM to 4 AM. Here’s a closer look at the IATF’s latest guidelines:

Alert Levels System

Under the new guidelines, there will be five Alert Levels to determine the activities allowed within an area in Metro Manila, to be determined by the Department of Health.

Alert Level 1

This refers to areas wherein case transmission is low and decreasing, total bed utilization rate, and intensive care unit utilization rate is low.

  • Movements of persons are allowed except for reasonable restrictions on activities and spaces that are crowded and enable close contact.
  • Except for those located in areas under granular lockdowns, all establishments may operate with full venue capacity provided that it follows the minimum public health standards.

Alert Level 2

This 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.

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  • Movement of persons are allowed except for reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities, as may be determined by the LGUs. These restrictions, however, shall not be stricter than those prescribed under Alert Level 4. They must also be allowed access to access essential good and services, and work in permitted offices and industries.
  • 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.
  • Individual outdoor exercises are allowed for all ages, regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status.
  • The following establishments and activities are allowed with 50% venue capacity. Establishments with Safety Seal Certifications can operate with additional 10% capacity.
    a. Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, museums, archives, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits.
    b. Indoor venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and events.
    c. Indoor entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke 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 including beauty salons, parlors, and cosmetic clinics.
    n. Establishments that provide tanning, body piercing, tattooing, and similar services.

Alert Level 3

This 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.

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  • Movement of persons is also allowed except for reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities, as may be determined by the LGUs, and not stricter than Alert Level 4. They must also be allowed access to access essential good and services, and work in permitted offices and industries.
  • 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.
  • Individual outdoor exercises shall be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status.
  • Agencies and instrumentalities of the government will operate at least 30% on-site capacity while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements.
  • Except for granular lockdown areas, the following establishments will be allowed to operate at 30% capacity. Establishments with the Safety Seal Certification are given an additional 10% percentage capacity.
    a. Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits;
    b. Indoor venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and events;
    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 fo 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 birthday 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.
  • The operations of indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters are still not allowed.
  • The operations of outdoor and indoor amusement parks or theme parks, funfairs, and kid amusement industries are also prohibited.

Alert Level 4

This refers to areas wherein case counts are high and/or increasing, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate are high.

  • The following people are not allowed outside of their respective residences:
    a. Persons below 18 years old and over 65 years old.
    b. Those with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, or other health risks.
    c. Pregnant women.
    But they shall still be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices.
  • 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.
  • 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. The minimum public health standards such as the wearing of face masks and social distancing protocols must still be observed.
  • Outdoor or al fresco dining services in restaurants and eateries shall be allowed at a maximum of 30% capacity. Indoor dining services are allowed at 10% capacity, but are limited to individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, provided that all employees of the dining establishment are also fully vaccinated.
  • Barbershops, hair spas, nail spas, and beauty salons are allowed at 30% seating capacity if services are done outdoors, regardless of vaccination status. These establishments can cater to 10% capacity indoors, provided that the customers and employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Religious gatherings are allowed at a maximum of 30% venue capacity if conducted outdoors. Indoor religious gatherings can only accomodate 10% venue capacity, provided that everyone in the venue are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed, provided that it is limited to the immediate family members.
  • The following establishments will not be allowed to operate:
    a. Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits;
    b. Indoor venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and events;
    c. Indoor entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke 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.
    g. Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments;
    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, 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 for those conducted under a bubble-type setup.
    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.
    l. Specialized markets of the Department of Tourism such as Staycations.

Alert Level 5

This refers to areas wherein case counts are alarming, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate at critical level.

Areas placed under Alert Level 5 shall observe the guidelines applicable to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) as provided for under the IATF Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, as amended.

Granular Lockdowns

City and municipal mayors will also have the authority to impose granular lockdowns and tag certain barangays or areas within their city as “critical zones”, regardless of Alert Level. Granular lockdowns must last for at least 14 days and only health care workers and those who work in hospitals, laboratories, and dialysis facilities are allowed to move within, into, and out of the area.

Households within the affected areas of the granular lockdowns must be provided assistance by their respective local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).


For more information, visit the Philippine News Agency website and the IATF website.


Note: These rules and regulations are subject to change without prior notice.

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