Malls face possible re-closure and charges

As photos and videos of crowded shopping malls and congested highways emerge on social media, the government seeks to remind both the public and mall management to adhere to physical distancing. The Joint Task Force COVID Shield warned the public of the re-closure of malls if social distancing and quarantine rules continue to be broken. […]

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malls face possible re closure and charges - Malls face possible re-closure and charges

As photos and videos of crowded shopping malls and congested highways emerge on social media, the government seeks to remind both the public and mall management to adhere to physical distancing.

The Joint Task Force COVID Shield warned the public of the re-closure of malls if social distancing and quarantine rules continue to be broken.

Makati Skyline - Malls face possible re-closure and charges

Photo by Jopetsy (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jopetsy/25828268187)

(DOH: Another lockdown needed if COVID-19 cases spike up)

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, head of the quarantine enforcement arm of the COVID taskforce, said that malls failing to ensure health measures will face closure as well as charges.

“As per instruction of [Interior Secretary Eduardo Año], we will not only facilitate the closure of these malls but will also initiate the filing of appropriate charges against the management,” said Eleazar in a statement issued on Sunday afternoon.

Eleazar added that police commanders have been instructed to regularly monitor the movement of people inside the malls: “These commanders were instructed to warn the management of these malls and make sure that the warning be personally relayed to the mall management and other similar establishments.”

“Other police commanders should also initiate meetings with the mall management to remind them of the protocol and warn them of the consequences if they would fail to observe the protocols,” Eleazar continued.

The basic guidelines for visiting public places were reiterated:

  • Mall security managers are required to compute the amount of space common areas have to inform their decision on the maximum people allowed inside.
  • One person for every two square meters of the common areas of the mall
  • Shop owners should also enforce social distancing among customers
  • Security guards and mall employees should be on patrol inside the mall to “observe and remind people of the rules on social distancing and wearing of face masks”
  • Those unable to be accommodated once a mall reaches its maximum capacity will have to queue up outside the mall and wait for their turn once a patron exits the mall
  • Physical distancing should be observed in the waiting area outside the mall

The general said that while things were “generally peaceful” for the time being, the public should be vigilant and document violations of quarantine rules.

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