With the threat of the pandemic sneaking around the corner, we can’t just neglect to follow our ‘new normal’ guidelines.
To discourage the patrons from flocking to the malls, mall operators were mandated to shut down their free wi-fi connections, stop their sale events, and limit their air conditioning.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued Memorandum Circular 20-21, paving the way for more businesses in the country to open. This is also because of the possible lifting of the lockdown.
On May 4, DTI issued the MC covering guidelines for the malls and shopping centers, including establishments, which were allowed to operate under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Enlisted below are the guidelines to be followed:
- 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 air conditioning units inside the mall to 26 degrees centigrade
- Turning off free wifi for customers;
- Suspending the conduct of sale events, marketing events, and other promotions
- Mall operators were also given the discretion to implement more rules to ensure safety for everyone inside their vicinity.