Metro Manila mayors want to suspend the operation of cinemas and arcades due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, according to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos Jr.
“Metro Manila mayor[s] will have one policy, one voice… Arcades and even cinemas will be suspended temporarily,” said Abalos.
The Quezon City local government has issued guidelines in this regard.
The Metro Manila Council allegedly insisted that the public should not be complacent now that vaccines have arrived in the country.
It is still important to follow health and safety protocols, such as wearing a face mask and shield, hand washing, and social distancing.
Last month, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed the reopening of cinemas and arcades in areas under general community quarantine, including Metro Manila.
Later, Malacañang announced that cinemas in Metro Manila would not be allowed to open without approval from local officials.
According to Abalos, the mayors’ meeting did not discuss whether Metro Manila will be subjected to a stricter quarantine classification.
He also said that the contact tracing will be intensified, so Abalos asked those who had contact with the disease to immediately inform those in charge.
Metro Manila mayors want to suspend reopening of cinemas, arcades
According to Abalos, the quarantine facilities in Oplan Kalinga of the Department of Tourism and MMDA are 89 percent full.
As of Sunday’s record, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines reached 549,412.
Earlier, the OCTA Research Group, a group of professors conducting studies on COVID-19 data, expressed concern over the increase in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila.
One of the possible causes is new variants of the virus.
Meanwhile, major mall operators in Metro Manila decided to defer the opening of their cinemas even if the government already allowed them to do so starting March 5, adding they will wait for the approval of the local government units where they operate.
Moviegoers are not allowed to eat and drink inside cinemas. Face masks must be worn at all times.