THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has increased the dine-in capacities of restaurants and other dine-in businesses under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas starting on July 21, 2020.
Food establishments in areas under GCQ are allowed to accept dine-in customers at 50 percent of their capacity while it is 75 percent for areas under MGCQ.
Under the new guidelines, restaurants and fast food businesses are now allowed to operate until 11 p.m. The DTI said local government units are enjoined to adjust curfew hours up to 12 midnight to allow greater daily turnover of dine-in services and enhance income opportunities for workers.
Moreover, restaurants and fastfood businesses shall be permitted to serve all kinds of food and beverages, including alcoholic drinks but only for a maximum of two individual servings of any alcoholic beverages.
Families dining together
Families living in the same household shall also be permitted to dine together in one table, but they have to show proof that they stay in one address and that their tables shall be distanced by at least one meter from other customers’ tables.
All dine-in services and transactions shall be delivered as fast and as contactless as possible.
There should be strict enforcement of the “No Face Mask, No Entry Policy” for all personnel, suppliers and customers.
The DTI also stressed that there should be a proper ventilation and exhaust system in all establishments.
Proprietors of dine-in establishments shall enhance their exhaust system, ensure better air flow inside air-conditioned restaurants, or install high-efficiency particulate air filtration systems.
Buffet service allowed
In addition, outdoor dining (i.e. al fresco dining) is highly encouraged.
Chairs shall be distanced at least one meter on all sides while the queuing area shall comply with the one meter distance on all sides requirement.
Buffet service shall also be allowed only when food servers are provided and all food trays are with food covers.
Moreover, the use of loud ambient music in restaurants and fastfood chains shall be kept to a minimum to discourage loud talking, which increases the likelihood of droplet transmission.
There should also be frequent sanitation of workers and equipment inside the kitchen/food preparation and serving areas and proper sanitation of restrooms, while ensuring that it is free from the accumulation of trash. Play areas shall be closed.
Restaurants and fastfood businesses are also enjoined to implement the posting of the following information—contact tracing forms or registration to SafePass or StaySafe.ph; poster or stickers reminding consumers of social distancing protocols; maximum number of allowable persons; sanitation schedule and procedures; alternative methods of payments; no customer-personnel contact protocols; and administration of protocols, including the right to refuse service to customers who fail or refuse to comply—at the entrance and/or other prominent or conspicuous areas inside the restaurant or fastfood premise.(JOB)