Vaccinated seniors may go outdoors and visit malls, says Roque

Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Spokesperson Harry Roque reiterated on Tuesday, Oct. 19 that vaccinated seniors citizens can go outdoors and visit malls.

A senior citizen receiving a COVID-19 jab (Ali Vicoy/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

"Hindi po natin binabawi iyong incentive na binigay natin sa seniors na kapag sila ay vaccinated eh pupuwede po silang pumunta sa mga malls at pupuwede silang lumabas ng bahay, ganoon pa rin po iyon (We are not rescinding the incentive that we gave to vaccinated seniors, who can now go to the malls or go outdoors, it's still the same)," he told reporters.

Roque, who also serves as presidential spokesperson, gave this clarification after receiving reports that some shopping malls in Metro Manila have been barring the entry of senior citizens despite being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Reportedly, the vaccinated elders weren't even allowed to take part in al fresco dining.

"Ang hindi natin ina-allow pa ngayon ay iyong mga menor de edad na magpunta sa mga malls kasi hindi sila bakunado po, unlike the senior citizens na posibleng bakunado na sila (What we do not allow up to now is the entry of minors in malls because they are not vaccinated, unlike senior citizens who may be vaccinated)," he said.

The alert level in Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) was lowered to alert level 3 over the weekend. This finally led to the reopening of cinemas and amusement arcades--albeit on a limited basis--for the first time since the pandemic began.

Although they are geared towards kids, the arcades that opened are only accepting patrons aged 18 and above. They must also be vaccinated.

The country’s pediatric vaccination, which covered minors aged between 12 and 17, was launched last Oct. 15. Prioritized were kids with comorbidities.

Senior citizens belong to the A2 priority in the government's mass vaccination program, meaning they were among the first to be inoculated when the jabs began to be administered on March 1, 2021.