Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

Several sectors including malls and commercial centers will be allowed to reopen subject to strict hygiene standards.

MANILA – The government is finalizing the guidelines on the limited resumption of public transportation during the general community quarantine (GCQ), which will be implemented in some areas starting on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will discuss the guidelines that will be released on Thursday.

“Meron pong bahagyang pagbukas na mangyayari kasi habang bukas ang mga industriya, hindi naman po pupuwedeng walang transportasyon ang mga tao. Isasapinal na po ‘yan sa araw na ito (There will be a partial reopening of transport because while industries are open, we can’t have people traveling without transport. It will be finalized today). By tomorrow (Thursday) po, malalaman na natin ang final guidelines (we will find out the final guidelines),” Roque said in an interview over GMA’s Unang Hirit on Wednesday.

Under the GCQ, Roque said the IATF has recommended the resumption of public transport “but in a reduced capacity”.

Jeepneys may remain banned under the GCQ since it would be difficult to maintain physical distancing while buses may be allowed for as long as passengers are seated on “every other seat”, he said.

The IATF-EID is also eyeing the resumption of limited operations of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), LRT-2, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), and the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

Public transport remains suspended under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which was extended in Metro Manila and some areas until May 15.

General guidelines

The IATF has also recommended the 50 percent to 100 percent reopening of select establishments “subject to minimum health standards” in areas under GCQ, Roque said.

Starting Friday, the provinces of Capiz, Aklan, Davao del Norte, Davao del Oro, and Aurora, as well as Iloilo City will be under GCQ.

Several sectors including malls and commercial centers will be allowed to reopen subject to strict hygiene standards.

However, Roque said mall owners will be required to keep their air-conditioning temperatures warm–at least 26°C– to prevent people from loitering.

Roque said the IATF may also tackle the possibility of requiring the elderly and children to remain indoors during the GCQ since they are most vulnerable to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Under the GCQ, mass gatherings such as concerts, conferences, parades, among others are still prohibited and the public will still be required to wear face masks. (PNA)

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