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Parents will be allowed to bring kids to malls in quarantine areas: Philippine official

The government says all public, private, hotel, condominium and gated community pools will be permitted to reopen from July 1, subject to conditions. (Bernama pic). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Dec 1, 2020, PhilStar. Minors in areas under general community quarantine may soon be allowed to go to malls as long as they are accompanied by their parents, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said, The Philippine Star reported.

In a televised briefing Monday evening, Año said this is part of the easing of age-based restrictions on movement. But in a radio interview Tuesday morning, Metro Manila’s top cop said that minors in GCQ areas are still prohibited from entering shopping centers.

“For the holidays, we have ordered the gradual expansion of age groups that can go out. Minors as long as they are accompanied by their parents will be allowed to go out and go to the mall,” Año said in Filipino, without specifying the age of minors who will be covered by the new measure.

Currently, individuals aged 15 to 65 can go out in areas under GCQ and the looser modified GCQ.

“Ito po ay pagtitibayin sa mga ordinansa ng ating mga NCR mayors sa lugar ng GCQ,” he added.

(This will be laid out by ordinances by our National Capital Region mayors in areas under GCQ.)

Metro Manila, Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan City and Davao City will be under GCQ until the end of the year. The rest of the country, meanwhile, will remain under MGCQ.

The Department of Health said there could be a spike of new infections during the holiday season as more people go out and sometimes forget to follow minimum health standards.

Metro Manila police chief: Minors still banned in malls

In an interview on ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo Tuesday, Police Brig. Vicente Danao said only authorized persons outside of residents would be allowed inside malls.

“Di pa po allowed ‘yan sa GCQ… Actually, we’ll be having a meeting with mall managers na di pa rin i-allow yung pagpapapasok ng non-APOR kasi we’ll be expecting an influx ng mga tao dyan sa loob ng mga malls and other places of convergence,” Danao said when asked about minors being allowed inside malls.

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

APORs are Authorized Persons Outside Residence and were the only people allowed out early in the lockdown. Restrictions on movement have since been eased.

“Para makaiwas sa threat ng COVID-19, mas maganda siguro wag na lang po muna,” he added.

(To avoid the threat of COVID, it’s better not to allow it yet.)

COVID-19 cases in the Philippines reached 431,630 Monday with 8,392 fatalities.

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