MANILA - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) may consider allowing restaurants to resume dine-in operations once government is convinced that health and safety protocols are in place against the spread of COVID-19.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said restaurants are allowed to partially open their take-out and delivery services under the modified enhanced community quarantine, currently in place in Metro Manila, Laguna and several parts of Central Luzon. Dining in has been barred since initial restrictions were enforced in the middle of March.
“Bukas may inspection tayo ng magsa-sample, magde-demo kung papaano ang health protocol sa restaurant para ma-evaluate natin kung maganda na proteksiyon ng workers at customers sa isang restaurant na magda-dine in," he said.
(Tomorrow we have an inspection, there's a sampling, demo of health protocol in restaurants so we could evaluate if there will be proper protection for workers and customers in a restaurant that will offer dine-in.)
Lopez had told a Senate hearing on Thursday that there is a big chance that dine-in services may be allowed to resume operations but with limited capacity to ensure that social distancing guidelines would be observed.
“'Yung dine-in ang pinag-aaralan natin kung may sapat na safety na po ang ating mga magiging customers doon,” he said.
(We are looking at dine-in, if there are adequate safety measures for customers.)
During the Laging Handa virtual press briefing Saturday, Lopez added that they will also include in the inspection barbershops and salons in preparation for reopening once the lockdown status in MECQ areas is downgraded to general community quarantine.
“May magde-demo din na barbershops and salons para kung tayo po ay magiging GCQ na ay ito po ay pinag-aaralan na rin ngayon kung dapat na rin silang buksan,” he said.
(There will be demos by barbershops and salons so that once we shift to GCQ, we study now if they can reopen.)
Cebu City and Mandaue City remain under enhanced community quarantine, along with 10 barangays in Navotas City, where the strict lockdown resumed Saturday amid the rise in COVID-19 cases. Metro Manila, Laguna and several parts of Central Luzon are under modified lockdown, while the rest of the country is under general quarantine.