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Gov’t bans eating in canteens, smoking areas for workplaces during MECQ

Malacañang on Tuesday released the workplace protocols for areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the health protocols were approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

  • Shuttle service provision for bigger companies
  • No removal of mask and shields inside the shuttle
  • No dine-in in canteens (only packed food and deliveries)
  • Ban common smoking areas, only individual smoking areas or booths in open space
  • Wear face mask/shield when confined inside a room with more than one person, during meetings, and inside the shuttle
  • Frequent hand washing and disinfection of areas
  • Getting temperature of workers and guests
  • Designation of health protocol officers plus formation of Occupational Safety and Health Protocol Committee to ensure stricter compliance of protocols per company
  • Training of workers on new Health Protocol Standard
  • More company visits and audits from the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry and local government units

The release of the guidelines came days after Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the government’s COVID-19 response, said the surge in infections could be attributed not only in transmission inside mass transport vehicles but also in common areas in workplaces such as canteens and smoking areas.

Duterte placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal under MECQ from August 4 to 18. — Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News