Metro Manila mayors on Tuesday agreed to suspend the operation of spas, gyms, and internet cafes in their constituencies from Wednesday to April 4.
It will be recalled that last week, a unified curfew was implemented throughout Metro Manila, but only Quezon City and Mandaluyong City closed gyms, spas, and internet cafes.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos said the mayors have changed their minds to facilitate the implementation of restrictions.
“Kasi ‘yung hindi mag-gy-gym sa isang lugar, lilipat lang sa isang lugar para mag gym so maglilipatan lang sila so dapat ang NCR as a region halos uniform talaga para maging effective naman itong gagawing mga hakbang itong NCR bubble plus,” said Abalos.
This is depressing news for those who work at the spa especially since many of them are still unable to attend and earn regularly.
“Sana isipin din nila saan namin kukunin ‘yung pang-araw-araw. Lalo na mga staff, ‘yung may anak, may pinapadalhan sa probinsiya,” said Joy Valderrama, receptionist at a spa.
Metro Manila mayors to close gyms, spas, internet cafes for 2 weeks
Spa owners do not have a formal group. But spa owner Nol Montalbo, who serves as a spokesperson for other spa chains, asked if they could count on any help from the government?
Even though it is closed, they continue to pay rent and bills, so the spa and wellness sector is in danger of dying, especially since the number of therapists who want to work here is also decreasing.
This is also the situation of gyms, which like spas only reopened in September 2020.
“Ang tagal na hindi kami bukas, negative income pa rin so talagang masakit… Sana wag ding kalimutan lalo na itong negosyo na nasa fitness, nasa recreation,” said Gold’s Gym president Mylene Dayrit.
The OCTA Research Group earlier suggested to Metro Manila mayors to implement a “soft MECQ” or modified enhanced community quarantine if the number of COVID-19 cases would continue to increase after two weeks.
The expert said the transition to soft MECQ would be enforced of the “hard” GCQ would not be able to significantly lower the reproduction number, which is currently at 1.9 for Metro Manila.