Dine-in services will partially resume in restaurants located in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 15, according to an Unang Balita report on Thursday, citing Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Lopez said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the resumption of dine-in services in GCQ areas provided that only 30% of the restaurant's capacity will be allowed inside.
A 30% capacity means that if a restaurant or food establishment can accommodate 100 persons before the pandemic, they can now only allow 30 persons to dine-in, according to the Trade chief.
Aside from this, other health protocols should also be observed like frequent disinfection, wearing of face masks and social distancing.
In an interview on Dobol B sa News TV, Lopez said the IATF recognized the need to balance public health and the need to restart the economy.
“Na-recognize ang pangangailangan ng about 1.9 million workers sa industriya na ‘to. Sa huling talaan, may 700,000 na nawalan ng trabaho sa industriya na to... from 1.9 [million] to 1.2 (million) versus last year,” he said.
Lopez said the government will allow all kinds of dine-in services to reopen such as “karinderya, food kiosks, fast-food, casual dining, fine dining.”
Below are the DTI’s recommended protocols for dine-in services:
The following information shall be posted at the entrance and other conspicuous areas:
- Enforcement of a no mask, no entry policy
- Social distancing protocols of the establishment
- Regular sanitation schedule and procedures (a 10-minute interval for sanitation in between customers dining-in is required
- Availability of alternative methods of ordering and picking-up of orders (e.g., online, via text)
- Client-personnel interaction protocols
- Enforcement measures for clients who refuse to comply with the protocols in a manner consistent with the law
- Floor mat or foot bath with disinfectant
- Mandatory use of thermal scanner
- Alcohol that can be easily sprayed on the hands of customers dining in
- A health checklist given to customers which includes spaces for name and contact details in case of contact-tracing becomes necessary
- Wearing of face mask and observance of social distancing at all times
Workplace - equipment
- Properly-sanitized tables and chairs (after each customer’s use)
- Distancing of tables and chairs at least one meter apart on all sides
- Visible floor markings for guidance of clients in queuing
- Proper ventilation in the establishment
- Sanitizing equipment and tools that are visible to, and can be accessed by customers
- Pieces of furniture that are made of porous materials are covered in plastic for ease of sanitation
Workplace - personnel
- No personnel with COVID-19 symptoms, or with exposure to COVID-19 patients shall be allowed to work
- No wearing of pieces of jewelry
- Observance of proper personal hygiene
- Strict observance of social distancing measures in all parts of the establishment including counter, kitchen, and back areas
- Frequent handwashing/sanitizing
- Mandatory wearing of personal protective equipment such as mask, face shield, gloves, hair caps
- Mandatory wearing of closed shoes
- Observance of proper disposal of disposable equipment, utensils, and plates
- Observance and enforcement of client-personnel interaction protocols
- Mandatory declaration of health and whereabouts prior to every duty in case contact tracing becomes necessary
Workplace - stations
- Self service/customer refill station is highly discouraged
- Provision of designated area for take away/ pick up
- Provision of separate handwashing sink/basin for kitchen staff
- No physical contact during payment as personnel are provided with small tray for accepting cash, and establishments are encouraged to offer alternative modes of payment such as credit card, non-cash digital payment if applicable
- Regular sanitation of high-contact areas and surfaces (e.g., pens used for filling out forms, door handles, common tables, chairs, etc.)
Lopez said there should be a one-meter distancing for persons waiting outside the food establishment. He also said buffets are still prohibited, and that senior citizens are still not allowed to dine-in.
The IATF is the government's policy-making body in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recommendation will be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for approval.
The report also said the Department of Tourism (DOT) has issued a memorandum on new guidelines that restaurants should follow under "new normal."
Duterte was supposed to meet with the IATF in Davao City on Thursday but it was moved to June 15 with the chief executive expected to give an address to the nation afterward, according to his spokesperson, Harry Roque, on Wednesday. --with Ted Cordero/KBK, GMA News