FILE PHOTO: Children wearing face masks for protection against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) play video games on their phones at a market in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

FILE PHOTO: Several patrons of a shopping mall in Binondo, Manila City, eat lunch in an outdoor space. INQUIRER/MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — Minors are now allowed inside malls in Metro Manila after the capital region shifted to COVID-19 Alert Level 2, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos said Friday.

Abalos, however, pointed out that local government units (LGUs) may still provide additional guidelines such as, among others, requiring parents and guardians to accompany minors in malls.

“Personally, I believe children are allowed to go out to the malls. We have to relate it to number 1, that intrazonal and interzonal [movement] shall be allowed. However, reasonable restrictions can be imposed by LGUs,” Abalos told INQUIRER.net.

“If you’re going to recall before, there was a condition set by mayors that minors should always be accompanied by their parents or any guardian. I believe that still exists,” he added.

Abalos added that minors may also dine alfresco and inside restaurants, provided that establishments follow the venue capacity prescribed by the government under Alert Level 2.

Under the guidelines released by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, restaurants and eateries may operate at a maximum of 50 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals and those below 18 years of age, even if unvaccinated. They may also operate at 70 percent outdoor venue capacity.

However, all workers and employees of the establishments shall be fully vaccinated and minimum public health standards should be followed.

On Thursday night, Malacañang announced that Metro Manila will be placed under a more relaxed Alert Level 2 starting November 5 until November 21.

KGA

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