The Covid-19 task force on Thursday told supermarkets to operate up to 12 hours a day to minimize crowding, as the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) entered its third week.

All persons going out of their homes within the ECQ area — the mainland of Luzon — are now required to wear masks to avoid catching the virus, and will be penalized if they failed to comply, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.

In an online briefing, Nograles said residents in the ECQ area may wear any of the following to cover the mouth and nose:

  • face masks
  • earloop masks
  • indigenous, reusable or do-it-yourself masks
  • face shields
  • handkerchiefs
  • other protective equipment

“Concerned LGUs (local government units) are hereby enjoined to issue the necessary executive order or ordinance to that effect, and impose such penalties as may be appropriate,” said Nograles, spokesman for the Interagency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Nograles said the following establishments were “strongly encouraged” to extend operations to a maximum 12 hours:

  • supermarkets
  • public and private wet markets
  • grocery stores
  • agri-fishery supply stores
  • pharmacies
  • drug stores
  • other retail establishments engaged in the business of selling basic necessities

“In the operation of wet markets, LGUs are encouraged to adopt reasonable schemes to ensure compliance with strict social distancing measures, such as, but not limited to, providing for specific daily schedules per sector, barangay, or purok, as the case may be,” Nograles said. (