As part of Metro Manila’s shift to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), various business sectors are now allowed to operate up to half of its regular operations starting on the 16th of May, 2020.
Businesses, commercial shops and malls except leisure service stores are allowed to reopen after more than 60 days of shutting down while adhering to minimum health risk standards and protocols for safety. The same rule applies for all areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and MECQ throughout the Philippines.
The decision to slowly but surely open the Philippine Economy was approved by Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Infectious Diseases through Secretary Harry Roque, the Presidential Spokesperson. The unified decision of the Metro Manila Mayors required each establishment to submit and publish their schedule plus health protocols which need to be observed strictly.
MegaWorld, Ayala Malls, and SM Supermalls now open
The so-called ‘big 3’ in the commercial mall industry has imposed their specific health and security guidelines before the opening of their establishments.
#MegaworldNewReality, #AyalaMalls, #SafeMallingAtSM have announced their schedules on their respective social networking profiles. Each will be introducing the state of the art contactless payment systems, disinfection measures through foot bath, temperature check, and misting tents on their only entrance, plus sanitizing stations in all corners of the mall.
Guests wearing face masks from 21 up to 59 years old should be allowed to enter, as long as they also bring a valid identification card. A two to three feet ‘safe distance’ must be maintained on counters, item racks, and lines which will be closely monitored by officialpersonnel for social and physical distancing. Some stores will be using the drive-thru and pick up stations with cashless transactions via e-wallets and credit/debit cards.
Wi-Fi connections for public use will still be turned off while air conditioning temperature should not go lower than 26 degrees Celsius to avoid overstaying and overcrowding.
Sanitation and deep cleaning of door handles, elevator buttons, handrails, chairs, tables, and public spaces will be done every other hour. In addition, UV-based light disinfection will be utilized to handrails in the escalator.
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Available commercial and non-leisure establishments during the MECQ
Based on the latest IATF guidelines, here are the allowed businesses to operate.
- Restaurants will remain with their skeletal employees as to how they previously operated during the ECQ with no dine-in meals allowed.
- Clinics for veterinary purposes will be open partially with implementation of minimum health standards similar to malls.
- Shops for school supplies and office supplies are also open with a maximum of one hour stay per customer.
- Pharmacies, laundry shops, gas stations, banks, remittance centers, pawnshops, and grocery stores will go back full operations.
- Electronic repair centers for gadgets and laptops, toy shops, baby’s supply store, pet food, and supplies shop can operate during mall hours until 5PM.
However, personal and body-pampering services such as beauty salon, facial care, waxing and threading spa, massage and sauna, and makeup stores will remain closed during the MECQ. The same goes for fitness, sports, and gyms.
Entertainment centers and tours will remain barred until further announcement which includes but not limited to bars, theaters, cinemas, museums, libraries, water parks, and travel agencies.