DTI to recommend ‘gradual’ reopening of dine-in restaurants during GCQ
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry is set to recommend to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) the “gradual” re-opening of restaurants with dine-in services in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).
During the online hearing of the House committee on trade and industry, Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said their proposal covers restaurants that can comply with the health protocols that they will issue.
“Secretary [Ramon] Lopez is recommending the gradual re-opening of stores during the general community quarantine [but] only those who can comply with the DTI-issued protocols can resume operations,” Castelo said.
“Those that are not ready may take their time and prepare so that we will all be sure that we can all be safe dining in inside their restaurants,” she added.
Castelo said Lopez will also make the recommendation before the IATF-EID, which will decide if the proposal will be approved or not.
“All operations are subject to post-audit from DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment), DTI, DOT (Department of Tourism), and the local government unit health officers or other deputized organizations,” Castelo said.
“We can do random inspections, as we normally do and we will recommend the closure of business establishments that do not comply with health protocols imposed by the government,” she added.
Lopez, meanwhile, said their recommendation “will make the re-opening earlier during GCQ instead of modified GCQ.”
“Since during GCQ, this particular service is not yet allowed, we are making a case na i-allow ito (for this to be allowed) by presenting this and therefore all these are basically recommendations at this point. We hope to get the approval,” Lopez said in the same hearing.
Among the guidelines that restaurants must follow include availability of alcohol and floor mat or foot bath with disinfectants at entrances, as well as the mandatory use of thermal scanners to check the temperature of customers.
Restaurants shall likewise put visible floor markings for the guidance of customers in queuing and distancing of tables and chairs to at least one meter apart on all sides.
Restaurant staff are also required to wear face masks, face shields, gloves, hair caps, and closed shoes. In terms of payment, there shall be no physical contact during payment as personnel are provided with small trays for accepting cash.
Further, customer refill stations, buffets, and salad bars are also highly discouraged, said DTI.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday approved the recommendation of the IATF-EID to impose GCQ in the National Capital Region (NCR) – now deemed a “high-to-moderate-risk area” – starting June 1.
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