Tourism, hospitality workers should undergo swab tests every 4 weeks: DOLE

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2020 08:55 AM

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Workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors are required to undergo nasal swab tests for the novel coronavirus every 4 weeks, the labor department said Thursday.

"Dahil po sa nature ng business... alam nyo naman maraming taong pumapasok. Kailangan talagang i-protect natin ang mga kliyente," he said.

(Because of the nature of the business... there are many people who are in and out. We must protect these tourism/hospitality clients too)

Restaurants fall under the hospitality sector, he said.

The labor and trade departments earlier required regular RT–PCR or real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests for workers in some industries.

Bello said this week he would reconsider this requirement because the PhilHealth might not be able to cover costs for the tests.

Outside the tourism and hospitality sectors, only workers with symptoms of COVID-19 are mandated to go through swab tests, he said.

“Any kind of industry po, walang exempted d’yan (none is exempted there),” he told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.

Face masks and face shields are also mandatory in workplaces, said Bello.

"Mahirap talaga pero talagang kailangan natin para maiwasan natin iyong contamination,” he said.

(It’s really difficult, but we need to do this to prevent contamination.)
 
The Philippines as of Wednesday confirmed 173,774 cases of COVID-19, of which 57,498 were active.

The pandemic has left at least 3.3 million Filipinos jobless, said Bello.

The labor department's record is different from that of the Philippine Statistics Authority, which said 7.3 million Filipinos were unemployed in April.

Meanwhile, a recent Social Weather Stations survey showed that around 27.3 million individuals or 45.5 percent of the adult labor force was unemployed in July, a new record-high since the 34.4 percent in March 2012.

Watch Bello’s full interview here.

TeleRadyo, Aug. 20, 2020