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Cebu malls to operate under ‘new normal’

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram May 31,2020 - 11:04 AM
Malls interiors | STOCK PHOTO

| Stock Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – On Monday, Cebu, including Cebu City, will already be under general community quarantine (GCQ).

While under GCQ, several business establishments including malls are expected to already resume operations after a two-month break.

Read: Cebu City under GCQ starting June 1

But Cebuanos who are eager to go to the malls might have to hit the breaks just yet as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) mandated all commercial establishments to implement several health protocols which, indirectly or directly, will affect the way people will do malling under the “new normal.”

On May 4, DTI issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-21 that provided the guidelines on the operation of mall and shopping centers in areas under GCQ.

The DTI memo especially stresses the need to implement physical distancing and avoid the gathering of a huge crowd inside malls to ensure a “safe and regulated” shopping.

Below is a list of what shoppers can expect under the ‘new normal’:

1. Limited Foot Traffic – DTI has advised malls as well as their tenants to limit the number of people going inside their premises to ensure that physical distancing is strictly enforced. In doing so, they urged management to reduce the number of entry points in order to control the crowd, put markers to encourage mallgoers to observe social distancing, and mobilize personnel to monitor crowd flow in all areas of the property – including comfort rooms.

People using escalators should be standing at least one step apart while elevators will only be used by persons with disabilities (PWDs), pregnant women, and senior citizens.  Elevators should only carry half of its designed capacity, the DTI said.

2. Centralized Delivery of Goods – Commercial establishments are directed to implement a ‘centralized’ delivery system and indicate designated pick-up locations and delivery points around the premises.

3. No Free Wi-Fi – Malls will no longer be allowed to offer free internet connection, for now, in order to regulate foot traffic and ensure social distancing while inside their premises.

4. The air-conditioning temperature at 26 degrees Celsius  – The temperature inside malls will also be subject to regulations. DTI has set a standard of 26 degrees centigrade for its air-conditioning system.

5. Allowing Management to Impose Other Measures – Aside from those that were already enumerated in the DTI memo, mall managers are also encouraged to implement additional precautionary measures.  Business establishments belonging to areas under GCQ are allowed to operate at a limited capacity. But the entry of minors and senior citizens is discouraged unless when on essential trips and transactions. / dcb

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