June 22, 2024

Wearing of face masks, physical distancing, and observance of other minimum public health standards remain, but Baguio City, along with 38 other areas in the country, is now under the most relaxed alert level for the first time since the declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
The national Inter-Agency Task Force on Feb. 27 has placed Baguio and 38 areas under alert level 1 effective March 1 to 15.
Pursuant to the IATF announcement, Atty. Althea Alberto said the city government of Baguio has made significant changes in its Covid-19 guidelines, which practically allowed work and business establishments in the city to operate at full capacity.
Establishments may still demand certain requirements for the protection of their clients and employees. Temperature check and written health declaration forms are now optional, but vaccination card may still be required.
Curfew and liquor ban have also been lifted.
“That being said, the pandemic is still here. It does not mean that we can live like we are in pre-pandemic. We still have to be careful and we still have practice precautions to avoid a surge that may happen. Kaya mag-ingat pa rin po tayo kahit alert level 1 na tayo,” Alberto said.
In Executive Order 27, s. 2022 issued by Mayor Benjamin Magalong, offices and establishments in the private sector may operate at 100 percent capacity but alternative or work from home arrangements may still be used for immunocompromised personnel.
Government agencies, on the other hand, shall adhere to 100 percent onsite workforce. For the city government, off-site work may be availed of by employees who are immunocompromised.
Alberto said the full operation does not include bars and nightclubs and other businesses where the primary service is selling of liquor or other alcohol products, as these are allowed to have 70 percent capacity whether indoor or outdoor.
Establishments allowed to fully operate are indoor dine-in services; fitness studios, gyms, and venues for non-contact exercises and sports; venue for contact sports where such games shall be held upon approval of the City Sports Office and City Health Services Office and should have a safety seal certificate; permitted venues for social events; indoor visitor or tourist attractions; indoor gaming and recreation venues; cinemas; personal care establishments; venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as concert halls and theaters; indoor funfairs/peryas and kid amusement industries; in-person religious gatherings, wakes, necrological services, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than Covid-19; indoor ancillary establishments in hotels and other accommodation establishments, and venues for election-related events.
“Most establishments puwede na ang 100 percent operation, as long as you check the vaccination cards of people coming inside. If not yet vaccinated, the option is to bring medical certificate issued by the CHSO saying they are not eligible for the vaccine, or a negative antigen or RT-PCR test within the last 14 days,” Alberto said.
For schools, higher education institutions can proceed with face-to-face classes, as long as they comply with the requirements of the Commission on Higher Education, have been inspection by the CHSO, and have a letter of support from the local government unit.
The same applies to elementary and high schools, which should get clearance from the Department of Education.
For review centers and other learning centers that are not under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, they need to have a safety seal certificate and participants to the face-to-face classes have to be vaccinated. Tesda review centers should follow Tesda guidelines.
For transportation, the city now allows 100 percent capacity in public transport, and barriers may be removed or retained.
Border checkpoints remain. Alberto said guidelines for travelers are still being finalized, but by agreement during the management committee meeting last week, residents (including students and employees working in the city) will only be required to present an identification card. Non-residents still have to register at the Baguio visita online platform, must be fully vaccinated or present a negative Covid-19 test result.
Leisure travelers are also still required to be fully vaccinated for adults and 12 to 17 years old while companions 11 years old and below do not have to present a proof of vaccination.
In all instances, wearing of face mask, physical distancing, and other MPHS measures remain in place. – Hanna C. Lacsamana