The OCTA Research Group believes that Christmas parties can be held this coming December but only for fully vaccinated citizens.
“In places na vaccinated ‘yung attendees, kunwari sa office Christmas party na everyone’s vaccinated na, we can probably have a big Christmas party because the risk right now seems low,” said Dr. Guido David, member of OCTA.
This comes after the continued decline in COVID-19 cases in the country and the relaxation of healthcare facilities and isolation centers.
But the Department of Health (DOH) is not convinced of this. Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed that it is still necessary to strictly enforce the minimum health protocols, specifically avoiding crowded places and stickiness.
He said the DOH is ready to adjust to the situation but remains committed to ensuring the safety of everyone.
The head of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAPi), Dr. Jose de Grano, said if there are Christmas parties, he insisted that it is possible only with close-knit family members.
Although the occupancy of hospitals is easing, he reminded that there is now a problem with staff due to the departure of healthcare workers to other countries.
Christmas parties now possible for vaccinated
Meanwhile, due to the continued decline in COVID-19 cases, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the recommendation to lower the National Capital Region (NCR) to alert level 3 effective October 16-31, 2021.
Under alert level 3, movement of people is allowed unless possible to enforce restrictions by local governments.
While allowed but limited to 30% venue capacity are indoor/outdoor tourist attractions, indoor meeting conferences, indoor person examinations approved by IATF, casino, horse racing, cockpit, concert, parties such as wedding, birthday, procession, and motorcade.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that apart from the NCR being downgraded to alert level 3, the IATF has also approved the subjecting of modified enhance quarantine (MECQ) in Apayao, Kalinga, Batanes, Bataan, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Naga City, Zamboanga City and Zamboanga del Norte.