Metro Manila malls close, with only supermarkets, pharmacies remaining open

After Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced an “enhanced community quarantine” yesterday across Luzon, Metro Manila malls and some stores were temporarily closed to comply with the government’s fight against Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Shopping malls specially in Metro Manila announced their temporary closure until further notice. However, grocers and pharmacies in shopping malls will remain open. 

Customers queuing at cash registers have been told to maintain a 1-metre (3-foot) space apart.

Ayala Malls, SM Supermalls, Robinsons Malls, Vista malls, Araneta City and Megaworld Lifestyle will be closed during the quarantine period which is set to continue until at least April 14, according to a directive issued by Department of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. 

In the government guidelines, only those private establishments providing basic necessities and such activities related to food and medicine production like public markets, supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores, hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies and drug stores, food preparation and delivery services, water-refilling stations, manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products and medicines, banks, money-transfer services, power, energy, water and telecommunications supplies and facilities, shall remain open.

Duterte has called on all the Philippines’ big enterprises to consider giving 13th month pay or even half of their salary as showing solidarity for Filipino for this critical time, or even food. He told the management of big companies to understand the plight of the workers who cannot work.

Meanwhile, Jollibee and McDonald’s have reassured customers that measures were in place to ensure their safety as their stores remain open in Metro Manila during the community quarantine.

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