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Cinema workers in the City of Manila will be required to undergo free swab tests given by the city government before the reopening of movie theaters, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said this in a meeting with the mall managers of SM Manila, SM San Lazaro, Robinsons Manila, and Lucky Chinatown.

The meeting was held following the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF) decision to allow the reopening of cinemas, theme parks and museums, among others, in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ). 

“Hindi ko bubuksan ang cinema hangga’t di natetest ang workers (I will not allow cinemas to reopen as long as the workers have not been tested),” Domagoso said in a statement. 

“We will extend assistance. Those who wanted to work, you have to follow this simple guideline, this is also for their own good and their community,” he added.

To undergo free swab tests from the Manila Health Department are janitors, security guards, tellers, ushers porters, ticket tellers, and snack bar attendants.

The mall managers also shared some of their preparations for the reopening of cinemas. The SM mall managers said they will implement a two-seat-apart arrangement while Robinsons Malls will implement a one-seat-apart arrangement. 

Meanwhile, Lucky Chinatown managers 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.

On Monday, Feb. 15, Domagoso said he is “open to the idea” of reopening cinemas to boost the economy.

However, he warned the public to be responsible, saying that he will have to consult medical experts and mall officials to ensure the people’s safety in movie theaters amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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