Should Malls Be Off Limits to Kids? Metro Manila Mayors Firm Up Guidelines

Duterte earlier raised concern over unvaccinated children.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

Metro Manila authorities will discuss the possibility of prohibiting children aged 12 and below in shopping malls after President Rodrigo Duterte raised concern over exposing unvaccinated minors to the coronavirus, one of the mayors of the capital region said Thursday.

Representatives from the Department of Health, city and municipal health offices and pediatricians will on Thursday meet to draft guidelines on the movement of children in public spaces, San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora said.

"Dapat ba silang payagang pumasok sa mall? Dapat bang hindi muna sila papasukin? Dapat bang bakunado muna? Ito 'yung mga bagay po na hinihintay namin, ano ba ang final recommendation nila sapagkat ito po ay health issue," Zamora told TeleRadyo.

He said Metro Manila mayors should have a unified policy. "Hindi naman puwede ang ibang lungsod ay mas mahigpit, may iba naman mas maluwag sapagkat lilipat lang ang mga kabataan doon sa mga lugar na mas maluwag at magiging problema lang po sa amin 'yun."

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Duterte asked Metro Manila mayors to pass ordinances that will limit the access of minors to shopping malls in response to talk on social media that a two-year-old reportedly caught COVID-19 after a mall visit.

Metro Manila was downgraded to Alert Level 2 until the end of November, allowing children to leave their homes for leisure for the first time in 20 months.

"Alam ko kayong mga magulang, gustong-gusto ninyo ipasyal ang mga anak ninyo after staying for so long inside your homes due to lockdowns pero isipin ninyo kung maliliit pa ang mga anak ninyo at hindi pa bakunado, do not expose them to the virus," Duterte said on Monday.

"Certainly, we cannot allow those below 12 years old or those unvaccinated to be exposed to the risk of getting COVID-19 in public places."

The DOH earlier asked parents to be extra cautious when bringing their kids to public places.

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