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Relaxed age rules for malls sought

THE TRADE department might propose to ease the age restriction for mall goers to boost consumer spending amid a coronavirus pandemic, the agency said on Tuesday.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez told Radyo 5 he might submit the proposal at the next meeting of an inter-agency task force (IATF) made up of Cabinet officials.

The Trade chief had been suggesting that Filipinos as young as 10 years be allowed to leave their homes in areas under a general quarantine.

Only people between 15 and 65 years are allowed to go out of their homes in these areas, although local governments can set higher age limits for minors.

He said in an interview with Radyo 5 on Tuesday that relaxing restrictions could improve consumer spending.

“If COVID-19 cases are managed, we should consider continuously reopening the economy slowly,” Mr. Lopez said.

The matter would be discussed while taking into account coronavirus statistics, as well as a potential surge in infections brought by a new virus strain, he said. Talks on loosening restrictions have been delayed because of worries surrounding the new strain, he added.

Scientists are investigating hints that the new virus strain spreading in the United Kingdom (UK) was more likely to infect children.

The Health department last week said a Filipino who arrived from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had tested positive for the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) strain. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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