Manila lockdown masks
A man peddles face masks at a public market during an enhanced community quarantine to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Manila, Philippines on Thursday April 23, 2020. Image Credit: AP

The Philippines has allowed malls and more businesses in the capital to partially reopen on May 16 after a two-month lockdown that shrank its economy.

Restaurants with delivery and take-out options, bookstores, hardware and clothing shops located inside malls in Metro Manila can reopen with half of its workforce starting Saturday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Barber shops, salons and gyms would remain shut, and people are still required to stay at home. Trains and other forms of public transportation will remain unavailable.

Large-scale construction projects in the capital can resume, as well as manufacturing of drinks, tobacco, electronics and mineral and petroleum products, Roque said. Money exchanges and insurance companies are likewise allowed limited reopening.

"All in all, many sectors of our economy will be reopened," Roque said at a televised briefing Wednesday. Malls must control the number of customers, and require them to wear masks, have their temperature checked and practice social distancing.

While its capital remains on lockdown until end-May, the Philippines is gradually easing restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The nation's economy contracted 0.2% in the first quarter, and is projected to shrink by 2% to 3.4% this year amid the pandemic.