IATF: Shopping centers to reopen in areas under GCQ, but no mall sales allowed

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 7) — Shopping malls may be allowed to reopen in areas under general community quarantine, but only by following strict operating guidelines set by the national government.

According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) issued guidelines for malls to observe, including the banning of mall sales to limit foot traffic inside the establishments.

“Wala muna tayong sales tsaka marketing events na magdadahilan para magdagsaan ang tao,” Roque said.

[Translation: We will not have mall sales and marketing events at the moment to prevent a crowd rush.]

In his virtual briefing on Thursday, Roque enumerated strict guidelines to be implemented in shopping malls.

One is observing physical distancing, where people must stand one-meter apart from each other.

He also mentioned that only one person can accompany senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities.

Moreover, people are only allowed to stand on every other step of the escalator, while elevators can only accommodate up to half of its original capacity.

Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry issued four categories of businesses that are allowed to operate during the GCQ.

According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, businesses that are at high risks of virus transmission cannot reopen even under GCQ.

He said businesses that belong to categories one to three can resume operations, such as manufacturing and construction businesses, film, music, and production services.

RELATED: DTI issues list of allowed sectors to work during ECQ and GCQ

Lopez added that around 94% of the economy is expected to open up under GCQ.

“As part of the IATF, tinitingnan din natin ‘yong other parameters to consider," Lopez told CNN Philippines on Thursday. "Health facilities, testing capacities. Kahit ako ay nasa economic cluster, kailangan natin mapangalagaan ito para pagbukas natin, hindi ma-put to risk ang ating mga kababayan at ang economy na rin natin.”

[Translation: As part of the IATF, we are also looking at the other parameters to consider, like the health facilities, and testing capacities. Even if I belong to the economic cluster, we still need to take care of this so when we open up, we won’t put Filipinos at risk, and our economy as well.]