Bars to stay shut in GCQ areas; Trade chief clarifies memo


Posted at Jun 24 2020 10:35 AM

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MANILA - Bars remain prohibited to reopen in areas under general community quarantine, the trade department clarified Wednesday, following a "mistake" in an official document.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said bars are allowed to reopen only in areas under modified GCQ and that the IATF resolution only amended the curfew hours of establishments to 9 p.m. from 8 p.m.

A modified GCQ or MGCQ is the lowest quarantine classification, below the general community quarantine or GCQ. An MGCQ classification is the last step before the "new normal" or lifting of quarantine restrictions.

"Gusto kong i-clarify na hindi namin napag-usapan yung bar, ang talaga hong allowed pa rin ay yung dine-in establishments, ang ginalaw lang po dun ay yung pagsara nila up to 9 p.m.," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(I would like to clarify that we have not discussed reopening bars, what's allowed are dine-in establishments, we only amended their closing time up to 9 p.m.)

"Nabasa ko rin, nagulat din ako at nandoon. Just to tell you na wala yan sa usapan, well not in the spirit of the discussion also. We are having it corrected as we speak."

(I also read it and I was surprised it was there. I would just like to tell you it was not discussed.)

Bars, cafés, and restaurants in clubhouses and similar establishments can operate at 30 percent of its capacity provided that the venue allows for physical distancing protocols, the government inter-agency task force (IATF) on pandemic response said in its June 22 resolution.

Food establishments in GCQ areas are allowed to offer dine-in services up to 30 percent of store capacity from June 15. Restaurants in modified GCQ areas can operate up to half of the store capacity.

These are subject to random inspections in observance of minimum health standards such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks among other government-mandated COVID-19 precautionary measures.