Children below 18 years old were seen strolling parks, malls, and churches along with their guardians on the first Sunday since Metro Manila has shifted its alert status to Level 2 due to the downtrend in COVID-19 cases.
In a report of Super Radyo dzBB, minors were already allowed to visit parks such as the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City regardless of their vaccination status as long as they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated individual. They are also required to practice minimum health protocols such as wearing of face masks and physical distancing.
At the seaside area of SM Mall of Asia beside Manila Bay, families were seen strolling with their young children, according to Luisito Santos of Super Radyo dzBB.
Malls and other indoor establishments have also opened their doors to the children given the same protocols released by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases on November 4.
According to this resolution, intrazonal and interzonal movement shall be permitted, subject to “reasonable restrictions” imposed by the local government units.
SM Supermalls senior vice president for marketing Jonjon San Agustin said that restaurants are also open to 50% dining capacity with an additional 10% if they present a safety seal.
“Nasisiyahan kami na nakapapasok ngayon ang mga bata (sa mall) dahil ngayon ay nabubuo na ang buong pamilya sa pagpasok sa SM Supermalls,”
(We are happy that the children are now allowed to enter the malls as it makes the family complete inside the establishment.)
San Agustin also disclosed that over 90% of their staff are fully vaccinated in 60 out of their 77 malls.
According to IATF, workers of both indoor and outdoor establishments must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and minimum public health standards must be strictly maintained.
In some churches on Sunday morning, such as the Baclaran Church, some parents expressed disappointment after security guards denied them entry as there was no advisory given to them yet if children were already allowed. After a few minutes, they were granted permission to enter given that they were with their guardians.
The alert level status in NCR officially eased on November 5 and will remain until November 21. —Giselle Ombay/KG, GMA News