Mall and shopping center operators here on Friday reassured the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) that they would abide by the standard health and safety measures in opening their establishments during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
Celeste “Bong” Dy, AyalaMalls Visayas operations head, said their health and safety protocols have been in place since they started to open last June.
“The standard mandatory temperature check at entrances, ‘no mask, no entry’ policy and checking of quarantine pass, COEs (certificate of employment), and IDs (identification card) continue to be practiced,” Dy said.
Floor queues, escalator and elevator markers, and one-way traffic guides have also been placed all over the mall to reinforce physical distancing.
Stores and the parking booths accept cashless methods of payment, which shoppers are encouraged to utilize.
“We have dedicated a team for cleaning and sanitation with increased frequency,” she said.
Dy’s comment came as malls and shopping centers resumed operations starting Friday in line with Executive Order 84 issued by Mayor Edgardo Labella on Thursday allowing certain shops, including department stores, essential shops, clothing shops, infant care supplies and bookstores to operate.
Excluding essential ones, stores can only operate at a certain capacity while others can only operate up to 50 percent.
SM Supermalls president Steven Tan said their tenants are also doing online takeout and delivery services to adapt to the changing landscape.
“At this time, e-commerce is really a valuable tool to serve our shoppers who cannot go out of their homes and we are carefully planning how we can continue to create online services that complement our physical spaces,” Tan said.
“Our goal right now is to make sure that we provide the needs of every Filipino while assuring them that SM is with them in this global health crisis.”
He said their establishment is employing health measures such as temperature checks at every mall entrance, placement of alcohol dispensers at entrances, and a strict implementation of physical distancing measures inside the malls.
During a meeting with mall operators on Thursday, Labella said their operations must be in conjunction with the curfew time from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., a policy that also applies to all establishments allowed to operate under the MECQ.
“Nakigtagbo ta nila aron ipahibawo nila nga maka-abli na sila except for leisure establishments or services sama sa sinihan, gyms, ug barbershops (We met with them to inform them that they could operate except for leisure establishment or services, such as cinemas, gyms, and barbershops),” he said.
Labella underscored that malls are still mandated to observe the basic safety and health protocols as they reopen.
Malls must ensure that social distancing is observed within their premises, mall-goers wear masks, and hygiene measures are followed both by their customers and tenants.
“Importante nga kinahanglan our security officers or atong tinugyanan observe the basic protocols (It is important that our security officers or those tasked to enforce should observe the basic protocols),” Labella said.
Dine-ins are still restricted in restaurants and fast-food shops and only take-outs and deliveries are allowed, he said.
Mall-goers are urged to adhere to the minimum safety measures to keep them safe from contracting the Covid-19 virus. (PNA)