Dine-in resumes in MGCQ areas, buffets still banned

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The government now allows limited dine-in operations of restaurants in areas under the Modified General Community Quarantine ().

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced it on Tuesday. He, however, clarified that dine-in services in fast-food chains and restaurants in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other areas under the under general community quarantine are still prohibited.

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Naghihintay pa po tayo kung kailan magkakaroon ng dine-in sa GCQ areas [we’re still waiting for when dine-in operations can resume in GCQ areas),” Roque said. The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases would have the final decision on the issue. 

Roque also reminded restaurant owners and customers should strictly observe the minimum health standards imposed, such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks.

“Kailangan pa din sumunod sa minimum public health standards protocol. Pwede pa ring ipasara ang outlet na hindi susunod sa itinakda ng DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) at DOT (Department of Tourism) na siyang maglalagay ng post-audit mechanism,” Roque said.

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(We still need to follow the minimum public health standards protocol. The government could again shut down an outlet that would not follow the protocols of DTI and DOT, which would set a post-audit mechanism.)

Also read: IATF approves domestic flights in GCQ areas

Dine-in protocols in MGCQ areas

Restaurants who opt to resume their dine-in services should provide alcohol, floor mat or foot bath with disinfectants at entrances, and thermal scanning upon the arrival of customers. 

Visible floor marking that would guide customers in proper physical distancing while queuing should be in place. Tables and chairs should also be at least one meter apart on all sides.

The restaurant workers are also required to wear face masks, face shields, gloves, hair caps, and closed shoes. Cashiers will provide small trays, so there would be no physical contact during payment.

No and self-service areas for food bars, condiments, and utensils remain banned.

Play areas are also prohibited. 

Stores should also conduct regular sanitation and have separate hand washing areas for kitchen staff and customers. 

Except for Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) Pangasinan, Albay, Western Visayas, Cebu City, Mandaue City and Davao City which are currently under general community quarantine status, the rest of the Philippines is under MGCQ status since June 1.

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