Philippines reopens gyms, museums as COVID-19 surge ebbs

Manila: Philippine officials have allowed the reopening of gyms, skating rinks, racket courts and museums in metropolitan Manila and adjacent provinces as a coronavirus surge continues to ease.

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Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez says Filipinos 65 years old and above who have been restricted to home can now travel within the densely populated capital region two weeks after having been fully vaccinated.

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He says gyms and similar indoor businesses with safety certificates can reopen up to 30% of their capacity.

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Lopez has called for the further reopening of the economy to address unemployment and hunger. Museums and historical sites also can reopen at 20% capacity but guided tours remain prohibited.

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The Philippines has reported the second highest number of COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia at nearly 1.3 million with 22,312 dead. The government reimposed a lockdown in the capital region and four nearby provinces after infections surged in March.

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