METRO MANILA will open its door albeit half lid to organizers of contact sports and fans—especially basketball—with the transition of Covid-19 protocols to Alert Level 2.

“Contact sports are allowed in Alert Level 2,” Harry Roque, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) spokesman, told BusinessMirror on Sunday.

Roque’s pronouncement came a day after the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, through the mayors of the National Capital Region, agreed to recommend the opening of the region to contact sports.

As a result, the Philippine Basketball Association could return to Metro Manila from its Pampamga bubble for the Governors’ Cup later this month at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has earlier welcomed the PBA, which will inaugurate its 3×3 tournament on Saturday also at the Ynares Sports Arena.

If negotiations and protocol requirements are fulfilled, fans could be allowed back in the arenas at 50 percent capacity.

“I still have no copy [of the guidelines] yet and the IATF has no questions on their guidelines so far, so contact sports are already allowed subject to health protocols,” Roque said. “We welcome that it’s one step towards normalcy as all sports promote physical well-being.”

On Saturday, MMDA Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said that they already sent to the IATF crafted rules and guidelines for the conduct of contact sports as Covid-19 cases declined in the country.

One of the requirements requires all adult players to be vaccinated and those above 18 years old. Indoor areas must be filled up only at 50 percent capacity while outdoor courts are limited at  a more relaxed 70 percent capacity.

“I hope the people will follow health guidelines very well because otherwise we don’t want a spike,” Roque said.  “Our mayors will do the implementation and guidelines.”

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