Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan (Screengrab from Manila North Cemetery Facebook live video)

MANILA – The city government of Manila would implement a mandatory face mask policy for visitors at the Manila North Cemetery for the observance of 'Undas' (All Saints' and All Souls' Days).

“Although it is now optional to wear a face mask, we would still require the public to wear their masks inside the cemetery because we expect so many people to visit their dearly departed here,” Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan said in an interview on the sidelines of her visit at the cemetery on Thursday.

Children aged 12 and below who are not yet vaccinated against coronavirus would be prohibited inside the cemetery.

“They will not be allowed, but if they are vaccinated we will let them in,” Lacuna said.

The national government earlier allowed the optional wearing of face masks in outdoor areas and may soon relax the rule in indoor spaces.

The city government has ordered the closure of several roads leading to the Manila North Cemetery in preparation for next week's observance.

These include Aurora Boulevard (from Dimasalang Rd. to Rizal Avenue); Dimasalang Rd. (from Makiling St. to Blumentritt Rd.); P. Guevarra (from Cavite St. to Pampanga St.); Blumentritt (from A. Bonifacio to P. Guevarra St.); Retiro (from Dimasalang Rd. to Blumentritt Ext.); and Leonor Rivera (from Calcite St. to Aurora Blvd.).

These roads will be closed starting 10 a.m. on Oct. 31 until 5 p.m. on Nov. 2.

Public utility jeepneys (PUJs) coming from Rizal Avenue/Blumentritt are advised to take a right to L. Rivera or Isagani then right to Antipolo to point of destination; while those coming from Amoranto St. (from Quezon City) shall take a right to Calavite then a right to A. Bonifacio Ave. to point of destination (Loading and unloading zone located before Amoranto/Calavite); and PUJs coming from Dimasalang shall take a right to Makiling St then may take a right to Maceda St. to point of destination (Loading and unloading zone located after Maceda/Makiling).

Meanwhile, the following streets have been designated as parking areas for people going to Manila North Cemetery. These are: the streets of Craig; Simon; F. Huertas; Bulacan; Tecson; P. Guevarra; Sulu; Oroquieta; Metrica; Natividad Street; M. Hizon Street; and Kalimbas Street.

Parking is not allowed on various streets -- Retiro; Blumentritt (from Aurora/Blumentritt to Bonifacio Ave. up to Laon-Laan); Dimasalang (from North Cemetery Gate to Makiling); Laon-Laan; Dos Castillas; Don Quijote; Ma. Clara; Carola; and Aragon.

The 54-hectare Manila North Cemetery is one of the biggest public cemeteries in Metro Manila. (PNA)