More consular offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) located in malls were ordered for temporary closure due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections.
The department's consular service sites in SM Megamall in Mandaluyong and in Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City in Cagayan were temporarily closed on Jan. 7.
"The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Office of Consular Affairs (OCA), advises the public that the operations of its consular service sites in SM Megamall and Tuguegarao City have been temporarily suspended today (Jan. 7) as part of the department’s precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 amid the steep rise in cases in January 2022," the DFA said in an advisory.
Affected applicants of the consular office in SM Megamall were told to proceed to the site on Jan. 10 to 14 instead. They can also contact the said consular office through its authentication unit through email@example.com.
The consular site located in the Regional Government Center in Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, on the other hand, will be temporarily closed until further notice. Affected applicants have been contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org and may contact the consular office for urgent concerns via email, the DFA said.
Operations of temporary off-site passport services (TOPD) in Robinsons Lipa, Robinsons Magnolia, and SM Manila were also halted earlier due to the rising cases of COVID-19 and the emergence of Omicron variant in the country.
READ MORE: DFA suspends 3 passport service sites due to COVID infections
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said "Omicron has decimated the ranks of our personnel," prompting them to temporarily close the offices for disinfection.
The department, meanwhile, appealed for the public's continued understanding as it adheres to the prescribed measures against the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of personnel and applicants.