MMDA: Restrictions for minors in place for Simbang Gabi

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3) — The Metro Manila Development Authority said minors, aside from being barred from shopping malls, will also not be allowed to attend Simbang Gabi in churches this year.

Speaking at the Laging Handa briefing on Thursday, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said, "Bawal din po sa Simbang Gabi. Pero ang good news naman po, sa Simbang Gabi ay ini-adjust na po natin iyong curfew ng 12 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. na lang para bigyan daan iyong Simbang Gabi ng 3 a.m."

[Translation: They are also not allowed during Simbang Gabi.Byut the food news on Simbang Gabi is that curfews have been adjusted to 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. to give way to Simbang Gabi at 3 a.m.]

On Wednesday, the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines set guidelines for Simbang Gabi amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Among these is encouraging live streaming of masses for the benefit of those who cannot physically attend the celebrations.

Earlier in the day, Garcia announced Metro Manila mayors have unanimously decided to prohibit children from entering shopping malls following the recommendation of health experts.

Garcia said children 17 years old and below will be allowed in malls only for essential trips, such as medical appointments. He said the implementation will be up to mall and establishment owners, adding that the enforcement will be the responsibility of local government units and police personnel, and sanctions will depend on local ordinances.

During the briefing, Garcia said this policy will be in force for as long as Metro Manila is under general community quarantine.