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May 6, 2020

Malls, Shopping Centers to Limit Entrance, Establish Strict Protocols Against COVID-19

After issuing health and safety guidelines for workplaces, the Department of Trade and Industry has now done the same for malls and shopping centers—places which are now allowed to operate under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) protocols.

You can read the entire document below, but in gist:
  • Department of Health guidelines are in effect (wearing of masks, provision of hand sanitizers at entrance and exit, etc.)
  • Senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities (PWD) obtaining essential goods are allowed one companion only.
  • Entry of people is limited and controlled. The density of people must not be more than one person every two square meters. Malls will determine their maximum capacity by dividing vacant walkable space divided by two. For example, a 200 square meter vacant space can accommodate 100 people at any time. Another example, SM Megamall has a total floor area of 474,000 square meters (both walkable and non-walkable), so maximum capacity is at 237,000 people; that’s just 5 percent from the mall’s maximum occupancy of 4 million people.
  • Operating hours may be modified under GCQ.
  • Number of mall entrances / exits may be limited to control the flow of people.
  • Malls are encouraged to create a one-way flow to facilitate movement.
  • High-density areas such as comfort rooms, supermarkets must maintain a social distancing of one meter apart at all times.
  • Elevators will be half capacity with priority given to senior citizens, pregnant women, and PWDs.
  • Escalators can only stand on every other step on the escalator.
  • Delivery service providers will operate from a centralized delivery/pick-up area.
  • Air conditioning is set at 26 degrees Celsius.
  • WiFi will be turned off.
  • All sales events, marketing events, and promotions will be suspended.
Major malls in Metro Manila are expected to open as early as Sunday, May 17 with the lifting of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

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