Shoppers allowed in supermarkets even without face masks: gov’t

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2020 12:34 PM | Updated as of Mar 23 2020 12:47 PM

Shoppers allowed in supermarkets even without face masks: gov’t 1
People fall in line at a supermarket in Pasig City as Filipinos rush to buy goods on March 13, 2020, a day after President Duterte declared a community quarantine in Metro Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Shoppers are free to enter supermarkets even if they are not wearing face masks, the government said Monday as it clarified that there was no order for such establishments to deny entry to people who are not wearing protective gear against the coronavirus disease.

Some grocery stores had denied entry to shoppers for not wearing face masks despite the dwindling supply of the shields due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such policies are also posted at the doors of some stores.

“Wala naman kaming inilabas na patakaran mula sa inter-agency task force na kailangan magsuot ng mask bago pumasok sa mga supermarket,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, also the spokesperson of the government inter-agency task force on COVID-19 said.

Supermarkets and other establishments are only required to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the disease, he said.

The government placed Luzon under lockdown until April 12 to control the spread of COVID-19 which has infected a total of 380 people in the country, and claimed the lives of 25 others as of Sunday.

The lockdown means strict home confinement in all households, suspension of transportation lines, regulation of provision for food and essential health services, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce isolation procedures.