Cinemas allowed to reopen as Metro Manila shifts to Alert Level 3 on Oct. 16

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Movie theaters in Metro Manila are now allowed to reopen, as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved to downgrade its COVID-19 restrictions from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 starting Saturday, October 16.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced the transition of Metro Manila to Alert Level 3, the third-highest in the region’s five-level quarantine alert system, on Wednesday, October 13.

In the new guidelines approved by the pandemic task force effective Oct. 16 to Oct. 31, movie theatres, theme parks, recreational centers, and tourist attractions are now allowed to accommodate fully vaccinated guests at a maximum of 30 percent capacity when indoors and 50 percent outdoors.

Establishments are required to secure approval from their respective local government units on the conditions that all their employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and minimum health standards will be observed at all times.

On Monday, Oct. 11, Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP) President Charmaine Bauzon said that 95 percent of cinema workers have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Since the government ordered the closure of cinemas in March 2020, the local cinema industry has lost a total of P21 billion in revenues and over 336,000 workers lost their jobs. This includes the creatives who work in film production, ticket sellers, ushers, projectionists, housekeeping staff, and security personnel.

Now that Metro Manila is transitioning to Alert Level 3, the movement of persons is allowed based on age and other restrictions to be mandated by LGUs.

According to a report by Inquirer, the following businesses and activities are allowed at a maximum of 30 percent venue capacity (except for those in areas under a granular lockdown):

• indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits
• indoor venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE)
• indoor recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues
• indoor face to face or in-person examinations approved by the IATF
• casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments
• in-person religious gatherings
• gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19
• 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
• indoor dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants, and eateries
• indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools
• 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 and establishments providing tanning services, body piercings, tattooing, and similar services

The operation of the following remain prohibited:

• indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, and venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters
• outdoor and indoor amusement parks or theme parks, fairs (peryas), kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie ride places

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