The country will enter the “new normal” once Alert Level 1 has been declared, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.
While the public can expect looser restrictions under this category, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the minimum public health standards would remain in place, including wearing masks and physical distancing.
“Slowly, in the coming weeks and months, we will transition to our new normal kung magtuloy-tuloy ang pagbaba ng kaso natin (if our cases continue to decrease),” she said in a Laging Handa briefing.
“Kapag nag-alert level 1 tayo, ‘yon iyong ating pamantayan, that’s our protocol– na ‘yong restrictions talaga for establishments and even public transport mawawala po ‘yan. Kaya ang sinasabi natin ay alert level 1 really is our new normal (Once were in alert level 1, that would be the standard, that’s our protocol that the restrictions for establishments and even public transport will be removed. That is why we said alert level 1 really is our new normal),” Vergeire added.
There is no specific timeline yet when a declaration could be made but the official said the government had been preparing for this possible shift.
She said the country must first maintain its case trend at “minimal to low risk” and the average daily attack rate in regions below seven.
The healthcare utilization rate must also be at low risk and the vaccination coverage in all regions at more than 70 percent among targeted individuals.
Public and private places must also be able to follow government-issued safety protocols.
“The government is now preparing, hindi lang para sa komunidad kundi para sa pangkalahatan, pati establishments we are preparing para maging safe spaces sila sa ating mga kababayan (we’re not preparing the community but also the establishments so that they can be safe spaces for our people)” Vergeire said.
Most of the regions remain under either Alert Level 3 or 2.
Metro Manila is at Alert Level 2 until February 15. (PNA)