Malls were ordered to limit aircon, stop free wifi and sale events under ‘new normal’

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Mall operators were ordered to restrict their air conditioning, shut down free wifi connections and stop sales events in order to discourage the public from leaving their homes due to the 2019 coronavirus threat.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued Circular Memorandum 20-21, which paves the way for the country to open up more businesses. That is also due to the possible lockdown lift.

On May 4, DTI issued the MC covering guidelines for malls and shopping centers, including establishments that were permitted to operate under the GCQ.

The guidelines included:

  • Limiting the number of people inside the mall or shopping center or inside an individual store to a density of not more than one person per 2 square meters;
  • Entry of people limited to the carrying capacity, computed as the total square meters of vacant walkable space divide by two;
  • Reduce the number of open mall entrances to better manage foot traffic;
  • Senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities (PWDs) obtaining essential goods are allowed only one companion;
  • Social distancing of 1 meter apart at all times;
  • Assigning personnel to regulate foot traffic in high-density areas such as comfort rooms, supermarkets;
  • Customers must stand on every other step of the escalator;
  • Limiting access to elevators to senior citizens, PWDs, and pregnant women and to only half of the original standard capacity of the unit;
  • Marking or reducing the seats available for customers to use while waiting;
  • Creating a one-way flow where possible to decongest queues and facilitate movement;
  • Increasing police visibility, should there be a need to enforce strict physical distancing;
  • Assigning a centralized pickup location for stores with delivery/pickup service where delivery service providers can pick up goods;
  • Regulating airconditioning inside the mall to 26 degrees centigrade;
  • Turning off free wifi for customers;
  • Suspending the conduct of sale events, marketing events, and other promotions;
  • Implementing other measures that mall and shopping center operators may find necessary.

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