MANILA— Government on Thursday clarified conditions under which minors can go outdoors in Metro Manila, where COVID-19 restrictions were eased over the weekend.
Those below 18 years olds as well as vulnerable groups like senior citizens and pregnant women are allowed to leave their homes for the following activities, said Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos:
- Obtaining essential goods and services
- Work in permitted industries and offices
- Individual outdoor exercises
Children are "generally" banned from going to malls. However, they can obtain essential services from dentists and clinics located at malls, Abalos said in a Palace press briefing.
Asked if minors can go to parks, Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque said: "Bawal pa rin po ang gala ng mga kabataan, except po for individual outdoor exercises."
(The youth is prohibited from wandering around, except for individual outdoor exercises.)
Are children allowed to play in the streets?
"Kung hindi exercise ito, talagang bawal po iyon. Pangalawa, walang mask, lalong bawal po iyon, talagang dapat sitahin ito," Abalos said.
(If this is not for exercise, that is banned. Second, if they are not wearing masks, that's worse and they should be reprimanded.)
He said children can travel as long as they are accompanied by a parent or an adult guardian.
"Ang rule of thumb is this, isipin n’yo ang anak n’yo ay walang bakuna, isipin n’yo ang anak n’yo ay very vulnerable. Dapat po talaga proteksyunan natin ang bata," added the official, addressing parents.
(The rule of thumb is this, keep in mind that your children are not yet vaccinated and they are still very vulnerable. We should protect the children.)
The Philippines has tallied some 2.7 million overall COVID-19 cases. It has vaccinated at least 24.8 million of its 109 population so far.
Government last week expanded the immunization drive to cover Metro Manila's 12 to 17 year-olds who have health risks.
The capital region last Saturday shifted to pandemic Alert Level 3 from Level 4, which allowed more outdoor activities and more businesses to reopen.
Video courtesy of PTV