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Palace: Minors not allowed in public areas despite eased restrictions

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Palace: Minors not allowed in public areas despite eased restrictions
Children enjoy playing at the Bernardo Park in Quezon City on July 10, 2021. Kids five years old and above are now allowed outdoors in areas under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine after the Inter-Agency Task Force approved the proposal.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — Despite the looser restrictions under Alert Level 3, minors in Metro Manila are still not allowed to go to malls or parks for leisure, Malacañang said Thursday.

At a press briefing Thursday morning, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque and Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos said minors could only go out to access basic and essential needs and for outdoor individual exercises.

This comes after the national government decided to downgrade Metro Manila’s alert status to Level 3 because of a decrease in COVID-19 infections. The National Capital Region will be under Alert Level 3 until the end of October. 

"For minors, generally, going to malls is prohibited except if their dentists or doctors are there, which are essential and basic," Abalos said in mixed Filipino and English. 

"Going out for leisure is still prohibited for children except for individual outdoor exercises," Roque also said for his part. 

The two were careful to say that none of the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases have changed.

Abalos pointed to the existing rules when asked if there were exceptions to the rule.

He said that minors can only go out:

  1. To obtain essential goods and services
  2. For individual outdoor exercises
  3. For travel purposes provided that they are accompanied by their parents or a guardian

Abalos added that the National Capital Region's mayors agreed to allow intrazonal and interzonal travel for minors only if they are accompanied by an adult.

Earlier Thursday, both the Department of Health and the independent OCTA Research Group said that coronavirus cases are expected to stabilize back to pre-Delta numbers, indicating a possible shift to Alert Level 2 in the coming weeks. 

Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief, said he also tasked the concerned police offices and units to make sure that enough policemen are deployed in public areas to assist marshals in implementing safety standards and controlling the crowd. 

To date, health authorities have recorded 2.7 million coronavirus cases in the country, 63,637 of which are still active cases. 

COVID-19 PANDEMIC METRO MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY PALACE
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