MANILA - The government will soon allow beauty salons, barbershops and restaurants to take in more customers as the country further eases its quarantine restrictions, the Department of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that starting July 16 salons and barbershops in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) will be allowed to increase their capacity to 50 percent from 30 percent.
Salons and barbershops in areas under the more relaxed modified GCQ meanwhile will be allowed to increase their capacity to 75 percent from 50 percent.
These establishments will also be allowed to offer more services, such as full hair treatments, from just basic haircuts as of now.
Lopez said this should allow these businesses to increase their revenues and raise the take home pay of their workers.
“At least may revenue na po, may trabaho na yung ating mga kababayan,” Lopez said.
(At least there’s already revenues, our countrymen again have jobs.)
Starting July 21, restaurants in areas under GCQ will also be allowed to increase their dine-in capacity to 50 percent from just 30 percent today. Eateries in areas under modified GCQ meanwhile will be allowed to raise their capacity to 75 percent from the current 50 percent.
Lopez also called on local government units to further reduce their curfew hours from 10 p.m. at present to 12 midnight.
He said this will let restaurants stay open up to 11 p.m. thus letting these establishments offer longer dinner times to customers. Lopez noted that dinner accounts for up to half of a restaurant’s earnings.
“Sana magawa po yun dahil makakadagdag po again sa kikitain ng mga workers yun.”
(Hopefully this can be done because it will add to the earnings of workers.)
Despite easing the restrictions on businesses, the DTI said it still expects strict compliance from these establishments with safety measures meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Social distancing, temperature checks for customers should be kept. Service workers meanwhile will still need to wear protective gear such as masks, Lopez said.
He noted that of the 400 establishments they have surveyed, at least 92 percent complied with these measures.
President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce fresh community quarantine classifications on Wednesday, July 15, as the country continues to see a spike in COVID-19 cases.
The Philippines has been on one of the world's longest lockdowns since mid-March because of COVID-19.
Despite the lockdown, virus infections have continued to surge.