Cinemas to reopen soon in GCQ areas; expansion of other business, leisure activities ok’d

Published February 12, 2021, 12:22 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Movie buffs,  rejoice!  The government’s pandemic task force allowed the reopening of traditional cinemas in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) after being closed for almost 11 months.

(Photo by Philip FONG / AFP / Mathias CENA / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed the reopening of cinemas in malls and the expanded operations of the following business, cultural and leisure facilities in GCQ areas:

  • Driving schools
  • Video and interactive-game arcades
  • Libraries, archives, museums, and cultural centers
  • Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, and limited social events at establishments accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The IATF also approved the reopening of limited tourist attractions such as parks, theme parks, natural sites, and historical landmarks.

While there was no exact date stated in IATF Resolution No. 99, Roque said in an interview over Super Radyo DZBB that concerned local government units (LGUs) should come out with the guidelines soon since the reopening and expansion of the said businesses should take effect on February 15.

“Tingin ko ay dahil ito po ay dapat maging epektibo ng 15 of February eh mayroon naman pong mga guidelines na ii-issue ang ating mga lokal na pamahalaan (I think because this should be effective on February 15, LGUs will be issuing the guidelines soon),” he said.

According to Roque, the reopening and further expansion of businesses, cultural and leisure activities shall be subject to the issuance of the implementing guidelines that will provide for the operational capacity and oversight of the appropriate regulatory agency and the concerned local government units.

“These businesses/industries shall comply with the strict observance of minimum public health standards set by the Department of Health (DOH),” he said.

“Sigurado po ‘yan nandiyan ang social distancing, kung ano ang issusuot habang nanunuod ng sine (The guidelines will surely ensure physical distancing and what the moviegoers should wear while inside the cinemas),” he added.

In a virtual presser, Roque said the IATF made the decision after taking into consideration the COVID-19 attack and hospital utilization rates.

He reiterated that there was a need to reopen and expand the said businesses or industries to help revive the economy.

“Kinakailangan magkaroon ng karagdagang hanapbuhay ang ating mga kababayaan (Our people need to make a living),” Roque said.

“Yung mga nabuksan nating industrya marami pong nagtatrabaho dyan na matagal nang walang hanapbuhay, ngayon po makapaghanapbuhay na sila muli (There are many workers in these industries who have been jobless for so long. Now, they can have jobs again),” he added.

Cinemas are allowed to open up to 50 percent of the seating capacity in areas under the modified GCQ.Attachments area