Malacañang appealed to the masses not to get complacent about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat after quarantine restrictions were eased in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
In a statement, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque reminded the public that while they are allowed to shop, quarantine protocols must still be observed at all times. This came after reports that customers have failed to adhere to physical distancing when malls reopened on Saturday, first day of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
“We advise the public not to be complacent and to follow health protocols set by authorities after we received reports of people who trooped to the malls with complete disregard of social/physical distancing measures on the first day of our shift from enhanced community quarantine to modified enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine (GCQ) in Luzon,” Roque said.
He also reiterated that the easing of restrictions does not mean we are safe from the threat of coronavirus, “We must understand that we have started to slowly ease restrictions in order to revitalize the economy, and not because we are safe.”
“We must not put to waste our collective efforts and sacrifices. Stay at home, go out to do essential work or when authorized as we ramp up testing,” he added.
Joint Task Force Covid Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar also released a separate statement warning mall security managers that failure of implementing safe physical distancing will result in the closure of their establishments again.
“As per instruction of the SILG (Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año), we will not only facilitate the closure of these malls but will also initiate the filing of appropriate charges against the management,” Eleazar said.
To enforce this, all police commanders have been directed to regularly monitor the movement of people inside the malls in their respective areas of responsibility to ensure that the basic quarantine rules are observed.