Planning to bring your young children while Christmas shopping? Nix that because it’s not allowed yet.
Contrary to Secretary Eduardo Año’s announcement last night that children will now be allowed into malls in places under the general community quarantine (GCQ), Metro Manila police chief Brig. General Vicente Danao said today that only authorized persons outside homes (APOR) would enter shopping complexes.
“That’s not allowed in the GCQ. Actually, we’ll be having a meeting with mall managers [to tell them] that non-APORs will not be allowed entry because we will be expecting an influx of people inside malls and other places of convergence,” Danao said in English and Filipino in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
“To avoid getting infected with COVID, it’s better not [to allow children to enter malls] for now,” he added.
Danao also said that the police force in Metro Manila, the pandemic’s epicenter, would continue to enforce health protocols. He said this as more people have been spotted shopping in Divisoria, Manila’s most famous flea market.
“We will intensify the implementation of our protocols against COVID, such as using face masks and face shields. The threat of COVID is still there until such time we’ll be having mass vaccination,” Danao said.
Año, who leads the country’s police force, said last night in a publicly broadcast briefing that children would be allowed to enter malls if their parents or guardians accompanied them. However, another police officer said in a separate interview that a city should first come up with a local ordinance for this to happen. For now, only those 15 to 65 years old are allowed to enter malls.
The Philippines has the second-highest number of COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia, with 431,630 cases, including 398,658 recoveries and 8,392 deaths.