Customers to fill out health declaration form before dining in

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Department of Tourism (DOT) said customers who wish to dine in are required to fill out health declaration forms as part of the new normal during general community quarantine. 

The restaurant also needs to monitor the body temperature of its employees and provide their staff with personal food safety apparel and annual checkups. 

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DOT-accredited restaurants should also reduce their customer capacity to 50 percent.

Owners are also urged to install an alarm system that would remind the employees to wash their hands every 20 minutes, before and after meals, before wearing gloves, and touching food or food-contact surfaces. Customers should also use alcohol or alcohol-based sanitizers inside the restaurant. 

In-house and delivery service protocols also needed to be established, such as take away zones, table, and seating arrangements, order taking, payment systems, and customer queuing.

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Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat also urged restaurants to arrange contactless transactions for taking orders or receiving payment from customers.

Also read: COVID-19 patient commits suicide in Cebu hospital

Buffets, salad bars still prohibited

DOT clarified buffets and salad bars are still banned at DOT-accredited restaurants when the government allows resumption of dine-in services starting June 15. 

DOT said in a memorandum dated June that in-house play areas, libraries, and karaoke machines of restaurants would be temporarily suspended.

“The DOT remains committed to its’ slow but sure’ approach [to] reopening the tourism industry,” Puyat said in a statement on Wednesday. “To make this happen, we expect strict compliance from [the industry with the quarantine rules]. The only way we can jump-start tourism is to regain the confidence of our visitors.”

In another online news forum, Puyat said that the DOT and the Board of Investments would grant tax incentives for tourism establishments that would renovate, upgrade and modernize their facilities to adjust to the new normal. The incentives include tax holiday for three years and duty-free importation of capital equipment.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases resolved that hotels, resorts, and other accommodation establishments “may operate only upon the issuance of a certificate of authority to operate by the DOT,” Puyat said.

“This is a welcome development for us to ensure that the safety and health of visitors will be given utmost priority and will not be compromised,” she said, adding the certification is free.

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