MANILA – Malacañang on Friday clarified that the temporary ban on the operation of hair salons and barbershops, as well as the conduct of public Masses, would still be in effect despite the imposition of a more relaxed community quarantine on June 1.
“Hindi pa po (It is still not allowed),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a radio interview when quizzed if the government would already allow the public to attend actual Masses and go to salons and barbershops starting June 1.
Roque’s statement came after President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Thursday night that Metro Manila, Davao City, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, and Albay would be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) beginning June 1, while the rest of the country would be put under modified GCQ.
He said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is still reviewing the possible reopening of salons and barbershops in the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
Roque noted that chief implementer of the government’s Covid-19 response, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez were “impressed” with the minimum hygiene standards presented to them, in case they allow hairstylists and barbers to entertain customers during the quarantine period.
“Sa ngayon po, wala pa pong approval pero nagkaroon naman po sila ng konsultasyon (For now, there is no approval yet but there was a consultation),” he said. “Inaasahan po natin na pag-uusapan muli itong mga issue ng barberya (We expect that the issue on barbershops would once again be tackled).”
The government has ordered the temporary closure of salons and barbershops in areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), modified ECQ, and GCQ as a precaution against the Covid-19 outbreak.
Roque raised the possibility that they may be allowed to operate in areas under GCQ, so long as strict physical distancing is observed.
“Inaasahan naman po natin na sa GCQ, magkakaroon tayo ng sistema ng accreditation, ngayong may sapat na kakayahan para mag-obserba ng minimum hygiene standards ay baka pupwede pong mag-operate (We expect that in areas under GCQ, there would be an accreditation to allow them to operate, now that there is the capability to observe minimum hygiene standards),” he said.
Meanwhile, Roque reiterated that only a maximum of 10 participants are allowed to attend religious activities in areas under GCQ.
He said there might be changes in the existing guidelines for the conduct of religious gatherings following the IATF-EID’s consultation with church leaders.
Roque said religious leaders have also presented “strict” and “very impressive” guidelines for the resumption of worship services.
“Nagkaroon na rin po tayo ng dialogue sa parte ng IATF at ng mga religious at napaka-detalyado naman po ng kanilang proposal. So inaasahan ko, gaya ng barbero ay baka magkaroon po ng desisyon ang IATF (The IATF had a dialogue with religious leaders and the latter presented a very comprehensive proposal. So I expect that just like the barbershops, the IATF would come up with a decision on the conduct of religious activities),” he said. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos /PNA – northboundasia.com