A restaurant in Manila was busy again this Monday afternoon after allowing outdoor dining in modified enhanced community quarantine areas (MECQ), including Metro Manila and 4 neighboring provinces.
According to those who ate outside, they followed health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Katulad po ngayon nasa labas, di po masyadong dikit-dikit ang mga tao. Tapos nagsi-circulate ang air,” said Princess Habil.
Under the rules, 50 percent is the allowable capacity for outdoor dining and the seating arrangement must be diagonal.
Before entering, customers must also go through a temperature check and sanitation, and fill out a contact tracing form.
“We’re using disposable utensils, plastic cups, chopsticks, disposable din iyong spoon and forks namin. Mayroon din station officer na in charge sa labas,” said Kelly Niu, manager of the said restaurant.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez also confirmed that outdoor dining will be possible as long as it is half the capacity and will implement diagonal seating or use an acrylic divider between customers.
Outdoor dining now allowed in MECQ areas
RestoPH, on the other hand, ensured that their priority is the safety of customers, whether dine-in, takeout or delivery.
“I just hope that the public can realize that the restaurant is a safe zone,” said RestoPH President Eric Teng.
“Our systems – sanizations and hygiene systems – have always been in place even before the pandemic started,” he added.
Meanwhile, some large malls have also announced new operating hours due to the new 8 pm to 5 am curfew in Metro Manila.
SM Supermalls are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Operational includes supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, and other essential stores as well as telecom, retail, and service shops.
All restaurants, essential stores, and service shops are also open at Ayala Malls, which are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. except for Greenbelt and Bonifacio High Street which will open at 11 a.m.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna have been placed on the looser MECQ until the end of April. Restricted quarantine restrictions in such areas due to the kick-off of COVID-19 cases.