Legazpi City bans Christmas parties to curb COVID-19
LEGAZPI CITY –– The mayor of this city said on Tuesday that he would ban the holding of parties in all private and government offices here to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) this Christmas holidays.
The City’s Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) issued an advisory on Tuesday banning the holding of Christmas parties in anticipation of the possible merrymaking events by private and public offices in this city, Mayor Noel Rosal said in an interview.
Citing the downward trend of COVID-19 cases here with 24 patients as of Nov. 26, Rosal said: “We would like to maintain this trend by instituting strict health guidelines to prevent another potential surge because of the upcoming Christmas.”
Instead of holding parties and breaking the mass gathering protocols, the mayor advised the public to maintain “family-oriented” gatherings, preferably in their homes, to observe the spirit of Christmas.
The IATF has, however, reduced curfew hours from six to four (11 p.m to 3 a.m.); allowed the operations of shopping malls, groceries, and department stores from 9 a.m to 10 p.m. daily with 50-percent capacity; and permitted children 7 years old and above to enter malls provided they are accompanied by their parents.
“Extending mall hours [would] avoid overcrowding and maintain health protocols,” Rosal said.
Restaurants would be allowed to operate at 50-percent capacity, while videoke-singing would be banned in resto-bars.
In consultation with the Roman Catholic Church, “Misa de Gallo” (night Mass) would be allowed at 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. in major parishes in this city starting Dec. 16, provided that health protocols, such as the wearing of face masks, thermal scanner, rubbing alcohol use, and social distancing, are strictly followed.
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