Operators of flea markets should seriously implement social distancing rules or risk being closed, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said today in his media briefing.
The warning comes a day after the Department of Health urged shoppers to stay away from crowded areas such as Divisoria in Manila, where there is a high possibility of getting infected with the coronavirus. The market was crowded over the weekend with people wanting to shop for Christmas.
“If you remember when we first relaxed the rules, people trooped to the malls and there were some malls which had to be closed by the local governments. So I just want to remind market operators that you could end up getting shut if you do not implement social distancing,” Roque said in English and Filipino.
“You can just limit the number of people entering the market by having special entry and exit points. If you don’t control the crowd, you might end up getting shut down and that will be bad for your business,” he added.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire yesterday warned that people can still get COVID-19 in crowded areas even if they wear face shields and masks.
The Philippines has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with 420,614 cases, including 386,604 recoveries and 8,173 deaths.
This article, Spox Roque tells market operators to implement social distancing or face closure, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.