Minors still banned in malls under GCQ: Metro Manila police

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2020 07:50 AM | Updated as of Dec 01 2020 08:43 AM

Young people take a break at the breakwater near the beach at Baseco Compound in Tondo, Manila on November 09, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has limited the time of children to play and socialize because of restrictions on physical distancing, but a few are slowly venturing outside. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Minors in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) remain prohibited in malls, Metro Manila's police chief said Tuesday contrary to the pronouncement of his superior Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

Police Brig. Vicente Danao said only authorized persons outside homes (APOR) or essential workers would be allowed inside shopping centers.

"'Di pa po allowed yan sa GCQ. We’ll be having a meeting with mall managers na hindi pa rin po iaallow yung pagpapasok ng non-APOR kasi well be expecting an influx ng mga tao dyan sa mga malls and other places of convergence," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo when asked about children being allowed into malls.

(It's not yet allowed under GCQ. We’ll be having a meeting with mall managers on prohibiting entry of non-APOR because we'll be expecting an influx in malls and other places of convergence.)

"Para po makaiwas ng threat sa COVID, mas maganda po siguro wag na lang po muna."

(In order to avoid the threat of COVID, it's better not to allow them yet.)

A local ordinance is needed to enforce the Metro Manila mayors' recommendation to allow minors outside their homes, said Police Lt. Gen. Cesar Binag, commander of Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

"Kailangan pagtibayin yan ng isang ordinansa. Sa meeting namin ng JTF COVID Shield, pinaghandaan po namin itong recommendation ng mayors sa Metro Manila at kaugnayan din natin si NCRPO director para nga sa pagpapatupad nitong nirecommend nila na tinanggap naman ng IATF at inannounce na nga kagabi," he told Teleradyo in a separate interview.

(It needs to be strengthened by a local ordinance. In our meeting, we prepared for the Metro Manila mayors' recommendation and we also coordinated with the NCRPO director in enforcing the mayors' proposal.)

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Children can become superspreaders if they are allowed to go outside their homes during the holidays, according to Dr. Tony Leachon, a former adviser of the government's pandemic task force.

"They say the holiday season is about kids and children but I think if they will be allowed to roam around and visit the malls they will be the ones to carry the virus at home. They will be the superspreaders and they will affect their parents and grandparents so this is dangerous," he told ANC's Headstart.

The police will increase its visibility and tighten the enforcement of minimum health standards after throngs of crowds were seen foregoing physical distancing in Divisoria, Danao said.

"Mas lalo po nating iimplement ang ating protocols sa COVID, ang paggamit ng face mask and face shield. The threat of COVID is still there until such time we'll be having mass vaccination," he said.

(We will tighten our implementation of COVID protocols, especially the use of face mask and face shield.)

The Philippines on Monday breached the 430,000 mark with 24,580 active COVID-19 infections.

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