Malls, shops urged to set 'maximum' capacity during Metro Manila quarantine: DTI

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2020 10:10 AM | Updated as of Mar 13 2020 10:25 AM

Malls, shops urged to set 'maximum' capacity during Metro Manila quarantine: DTI 1
Customers rush to buy hygiene products and other basic goods at a supermarket in Quezon City on March 12, 2020 as reports of a lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak circulated on social media. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Authorities have "suggested" capping the number of people allowed inside shopping malls, groceries and other businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Friday.

Retail stores, factories, and service establishments were earlier told to remain open but implement "strict social distancing measures" during Metro Manila's "community quarantine" from March 15 to April 14.

"Dito sa business establishments ang sinuggest ho natin kahapon magkaroon ng counter. We will ask yung mga tindahan, groceries, malls, mag-determine na sila ng numero na ilan ang tao na dapat maximum sa tindahan nila," Lopez told radio DZMM.

(We suggested that business establishments establish a counter for their customers. We will ask stores, groceries, malls to determine how many people are allowed inside their establishment.)

"Yung security guard may counter naman yan at any given point in time ganun ang ideal number ng tao sa area na yun."

(The security guard will have a counter to determine at any given point in time the ideal number of people in an area.)

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The agency earlier discouraged shoppers from hoarding rubbing alcohol, face masks, canned goods, and other essentials, saying this was "unnecessary."

The community quarantine will shut land, air and sea travel to and from Metro Manila from March 15 to April 14, except for the delivery of food and essential supplies. Metro Manila workers who live in surrounding areas and patients undergoing medical treatment in the region will also be allowed in, officials said.

Companies were also advised to come up with flexible work arrangements for their employees.

Government's inter-agency task force is set to meet Friday to clarify protocols on who else are allowed to travel to and from Metro Manila during the month-long community quarantine.