Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso has offered free swab tests for the city’s cinema workers.
The offer was made after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases said it has decided to allow cinemas, theme parks and museums, among others, to reopen under general community quarantine.
The Mayor said he will require swab testing for cinema workers before the local government will allow malls to reopen their cinemas.
“Hindi ko bubuksan ang cinema hangga’t di natetest ang workers,” Mayor Domagoso said during a meeting with mall managers of SM Manila, SM San Lazaro, Robinsons Manila and Lucky Chinatown.
“We will extend assistance. Those who wanted to work, you have to follow this simple guidelines, this is also for their own good and their community,” he added.
The following will undergo free swab tests from the Manila Health Department: janitors, security guards, tellers, ushers porters, ticket tellers, and snack bar attendants.
While the Mayor believes re-opening of cinemas would result into an increase in foot traffic in public areas, he said that it would also increase earnings of businesses severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Likewise, Mayor Domagoso asked mall managers to present their preparations to re-open cinemas in compliance with the national government’s health protocols.
Physical distancing is at the forefront of the preparations of SM and Robinsons Malls—SM mall managers said their cinemas will implement a two-seat-apart arrangement, while Robinsons Malls will implement a one-seat-apart arrangement. Lucky Chinatown managers, meanwhile, said they would open only two of its four cinemas.
All managers of the three malls will also implement a “No Face Mask, No Face Shield, No Entry” policy.
“Ang assurance ko sa inyo ay the city is aggressive. You have the support of the city, I agree with the opening of the cinema because I believe in you, that you are a responsible citizens,” Mayor Domagoso said.