Malls in Metro Manila close temporarily for community quarantine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2020 08:00 PM | Updated as of Mar 17 2020 06:57 PM

MANILA (Updated) - Mall operators on Sunday said they would suspend operations in Metro Manila during the month-long community quarantine.

SM Supermalls, Ayala Malls, Star Malls and Vista Malls all said they would close their malls starting Monday. 

Robinsons Forum, and Robinsons Metro East will also be closed on Monday. Other Robinsons malls have yet to make a similar announcement as of posting. 

SM Supermalls is coordinating closely with local government units and will comply with whatever resolution or directive they will release, said its President Steven Tan.

"We are working closely with the local government unit to temporary close the malls in the National Capital Region. But we work closely with each local government. As long as there is a resolution, as long as they have directives, we will support" he told DZMM.

Among the cities that have already released a resolution regarding the temporary closure of malls are Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasay.

Tan said all SM Malls in said cities would be closed, except for supermarkets, hardware stores, banks and restaurants offering food delivery services.

All Ayala Malls in Metro Manila will be temporarily closed starting Monday, Ayala Malls president Jennylle Tupas told DZMM.

"The mall is closed, pero yung mga basic services at essentials, in the interest of public service, bubuksan natin," she added.

Ayala Malls will consult with the labor department regarding the status of employees who will be affected by the temporary closure, Tupas said.

Operations of AliMall, Gateway Mall and Farmer's Plaza will also be temporarily shut starting March 16, Araneta City management said Monday. 

Essential establishments such as supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies, medical and dental clinics, restaurants with take-out and food delivery services, as wall as banks and financials firms "may remain open" to provide basic services, Araneta City said. 

Meanwhile, selected Robinsons Malls will remain open by Monday, March 16.

These include Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Magnolia, Robinsons Novaliches, Robinsons Las Piñas, Robinsons Malabon, Robinsons Manila and Robinsons Otis.

Only Robinsons Forum and Robinsons Metroeast will be closed by Monday.

The Robinsons mall in Ilocos Norte will also be temporarily closed.

Under quarantine guidelines released by Malacañang on Saturday, mass gatherings such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, entertainment activities, community assemblies and non-essential work-related gatherings are prohibited. 

Metro Manila is under community quarantine beginning Sunday, March 15, to Tuesday, April 14 in a bid to arrest the spread of COVID-19, now considered a pandemic by the World Health Organization. 

The Philippines has recorded 140 cases of the new coronavirus strain, mostly in Metro Manila. Among them, 11 have died.