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Dine-in, salons & barbershops, gyms, others to reopen as NCR, nearby provinces return to GCQ on Aug. 19

Business establishments, which were previously closed when Metro Manila and its nearby provinces reverted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), are set to resume operations on Wednesday, August 19.

In a text message, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said businesses in the National Capital Region, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal can reopen once the MECQ in the said areas expires on August 18.

President Rodrigo Duterte returned Metro Manila and its adjacent provinces to general community quarantine (GCQ), effective August 19 until August 31.

Prior to NCR and its nearby provinces return to MECQ, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has approved the following to resume operate under GCQ:

  • dine-in services of restaurants and other food establishments at 50% capacity
  • salons and barbershops at 30% capacity
  • testing and tutorial centers, review centers at 30% capacity
  • gyms, fitness centers, and sports facilities at 30% capacity
  • Internet cafes at 30% capacity
  • personal grooming (hair, nail, skincare except for full body massage) and aesthetic services at 30% capacity
  • pet grooming at 30% capacity

In a radio interview, Lopez said, “Dine-in operations ayan ang magbubukas under GCQ.”

“Magbubukas ulit ‘yung mga restaurants, dine-ins, salons, barbers, at ‘yung mga... if you remember bago nag MECQ may mga nadagdag na ibang mga sectors tulad ng testing centers, mga gyms so ‘yan ay magbubukas na uliut under GCQ,” he said.

Gyms, Internet cafes still closed

Malacañang later clarified that gyms and internet cafes are still closed in areas under GCQ as this was the decision made during a Cabinet meeting before President Duterte decided to shift Metro Manila and its adjacent provinces back to MECQ.

“This meeting superseded the IATF resolution approving [the reopening of] gyms and internet cafes,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

The DTI and the Department of Labor and Employment have also released a joint circular requiring workers in certain sectors to be given free swab tests for COVID-19

Under the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 20-04, workers in the following sectors are required to undergo the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test free of charge:

  • tourist zones
  • local manufacturing companies
  • transport and logistics
  • food retail
  • education
  • financial services
  • non-food retail
  • services
  • public market
  • construction
  • water supply
  • sewerage
  • waste management
  • public sector
  • mass media

The JMC was in coordination with the DTI which took effect Saturday, August 15. — RSJ/MDM, GMA News