Four provinces under Alert Level 4, 15 areas under Alert Level 3 from Jan. 21 to 31

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 20) – Malacañang on Thursday announced the imposition of the stricter Alert Level 4 in four provinces and Alert Level 3 in 15 more areas in the country due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The new alert levels will start from Jan. 21 to 31.

Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province, and Northern Samar have been elevated to Alert Level 4 from Alert Level 3.

Alert Level 4 areas have a moderate to high-risk classification for COVID-19 transmission and healthcare capacities are higher than 70%, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Under Alert Level 4, people below 18 and over 65 years old, those with underlying illnesses, and pregnant women are not allowed to go out of their houses.

Cinemas and movie houses, funfairs, live voice and wind instrument events, and all contact sports - whether indoor or outdoor - are prohibited.

Face to face or in-person classes, except those approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force and/or the Office of the President, are also not allowed.

Establishments like restaurants, barbershops, hair and nail spas, and beauty salons can operate at a maximum of 10% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 30% outdoor venue capacity.

EXPLAINER: What you need to know about the COVID-19 alert level system

Meanwhile, the 15 areas under Alert Level 3 are:

Luzon

- Apayao

- Puerto Princesa City

- Masbate

Visayas

- Siquijor

Mindanao

- Zamboanga del Norte

- Zamboanga Sibugay

- Lanao del Norte

- Davao de Oro

- Davao Oriental

- North Cotabato

- Sarangani

- Sultan Kudarat

- Surigao del Norte

- Maguindanao

- Basilan

Under Alert Level 3, Face to face or in-person classes, except those approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force and/or the Office of the President, contact sports, funfairs, as well as live voice and wind instrument events are also prohibited.

Intrazonal and interzonal travel will be allowed, subject to restrictions imposed by local governments. Operations of select establishments and tourist attractions will also be scaled down to 30% indoor and 50% outdoor venue capacity.

Metro Manila - which is currently under Alert Level 3 - was placed under Alert Level 4 in September last year at the height of Delta variant surge.

The country's COVID-19 cases topped 3.3 million on Thursday after the DOH reported over 31,000 new infections.