Government today announced that Metro Manila will remain under alert level 3 until November 14. The 5-level alert system was introduced in mid-September with “1” being the least restrictive and “5” the most restrictive. Metro Manila was downgraded from level 4 to level 3 in mid-October. Alert level 3 allows freer movement of individuals but keeps close contact activities at 30% of capacity. According to the Planning Secretary, 77% of the economy is still in “heightened quarantine” (defined as those under alert level 3 and up), affecting close to 30 million workers.
Following sharply declining infections numbers (Chart 1) and the uptrend in mobility (Chart 2), businesses have been hoping to be able to operate at 50% capacity by November, especially with Metro Manila’s relatively high adult vaccination rate (80% has received two doses, Chart 3). Although the restrictions stay for now, we have observed more relaxed enforcement especially for vaccinated individuals. In the metropolis, it has become harder to book restaurant reservations and foot traffic in malls have gone up as families are now allowed to take younger members outside. Government will release 3Q GDP performance on November 9.