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Businesses in Palau from restaurants, banks, and establishments are putting measures to limit social contact as precautionary measures to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.

Palau is one of the few countries that do not have any confirmed case of COVID-19 but in line with the Ministry of Health’s Directive of social distancing, measures that have been put in place by businesses and the private sector will help limit the threat of coronavirus.

MJ Restaurant and Rock Island Cafe have ventured into takeout since yesterday  has announced that it will not take dine-in customers, “ due to social distancing practice.”

Some restaurants opted for limited dine-in options while several establishments ensured the public that their workers are washing their hands frequently, sanitizing high-touch areas and sending home workers that are ill.

Banks have also announced that they are taking necessary precautions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their customers and their bank staff.  Severals have also announced changes in banking hours to limit social contact.

In a statement through the Financial Institution Commission (FIC) banks encouraged online transactions.

“All bank customers that have access to debit or credit cards, online banking, mobile banking, and other such services are encouraged to utilize these alternative transaction methods. Although the banking system has sufficient cash on hand and on the island to meet the needs of bank customers, limiting the use of currency is highly encouraged so as to minimize the potential transmission of the COVID-19 Virus in the exchange of cash and coin during transactions.”

Banks have also said online banking transactions would also limit physical proximity to other persons.

On  March 17, 2020, issued Directive No. 60-20: Certification of Unavoidable Public Health Emergency to implement necessary clinical and public measures, including infection control, social distancing, and other relevant measures to prevent and prepare for the entry of COVID-19.

Many sports events have also been canceled such as the Palau Major League Baseball while the upcoming, Pristine Paradise Palau Half marathon, 10km Run, 5km Walk/Run event that was scheduled on April 18 has been postponed till June 13.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Consulate Office in Palau announced the temporary suspension of Consular Services effective March 23, 2020, until further notice. (B. Carreon)