‘Quarantine-proof our industry’: Allow vaccinated population to dine in, restaurant owners urge government

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2021 08:37 PM

Customers dine in at a restaurant inside a mall in Manila on June 2, 2021.
Customers dine in at a restaurant inside a mall in Manila on June 2, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — A national group of restaurant owners has urged the government to allow vaccinated individuals to dine in at establishments across lockdown levels, as a “sustainable approach” in the face of COVID-19 becoming an “ever-present fact of life.”

The Restaurant Owners of the Philippines (Resto PH) “supports the call for more mobility for the vaccinated regardless of quarantine restrictions, and especially during ECQ and MECQ,” its president Eric Teng said in a statement.

The enhanced community quarantine and its modified version are the two strictest of four lockdown measures, which have had varying definitions.

Under ECQ, restaurants are not allowed to accommodate dine-in customers, but can continue operating for delivery and take-out services. MECQ, meanwhile, previously allowed dine-in at 10% capacity, but later prohibited it completely.

“As the industry that is forced to be the first to shut down in any emergency, we believe allowing the growing vaccinated population to maintain continued patronage of our F&B businesses, will allow us to protect our investments, and our jobs,” Resto PH said.

“We look at COVID as an ever present fact of life, and lockdowns can be a common occurrence. Therefore a sustainable approach to quarantine proof our industry is necessary to help our economy grow while protecting the vulnerable unvaccinated population.”

As of August 15, a total of 12,565,017 Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 15,241,864 have already received their first dose.

With the increasing number of vaccinations, some 100 food establishments have been providing discounts and promos for those inoculated against the virus, under “Bakuna Benefits.” The program is part of the private sector-led “Ingat Angat” campaign, in partnership with Resto PH.

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