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More businesses are expected to reopen in the coming weeks with the recent downgrade of quarantine restrictions to Alert Level 3 in the National Capital Region and the relaxed restriction has enabled service-oriented businesses to serve more clients face-to-face, and allowed organizations to gradually increase their operational capacity and on-site workforce.

As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to drop to less than 1,000 a day, the Department of Health has explored the possibility of further de-escalating the restrictions in the coming weeks.

Although the easing of restrictions is a nod towards a healthier economy, some employers and business owners remain uncertain of the proper implementation of return to workplace protocols.

In a learning session with the American Chamber of Commerce, Andrew Candelet, general manager of International SOS Philippines, emphasized that organizations should immediately prepare airtight return-to-work policies to ensure the safety of their employees and their businesses during the transition.

“The increasing vaccination numbers slowly builds towards herd immunity. We appear to be entering a new phase with the pandemic gradually transitioning to endemic. This is when the virus still survives in the community, but fatality rates are lower, and the healthcare system is better able to cope,” Candelet said.

“This gradual transition has prompted organizations to think about how they can safely repopulate their workplaces,” he added.

Candelet pointed out that aside from being agile and responsive, companies need practical back-to-work plans that abide by local guidelines such as those from the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Labor and Employment.