By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY— The “no dine-in, only take-out” policy for all food establishments in Cebu City and violators of health security protocols due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic were given a stern warning by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that their establishments will be closed if they fail to comply.
DTI Assistant Secretary Asteria Caberte said that, in Cebu City, which is under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), dine-in was not allowed. Eateries, however, can accept take-out orders.
She said that, in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ), dine-in at restaurants, fast foods, and small eateries, more commonly known as karenderyas, must follow health guidelines set by the department.
The DTI Guidelines which are in line with the Inter-agency task force for the management of infectious diseases (IATF MIED) include, among others, that the dine-in capacity must be at 30 percent for GCQ areas.
Also included in the DTI guidelines for dine-in eateries were the provisions on the use sanitizers, temperature checks of personnel and customers, physical distancing, food in buffet to be covered, food servers to wear masks and observation of the “no mask, no entry” policy.
The DTI, with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), continues to inspect and monitor business establishments, eateries for their compliance with the IATF health and safety protocols for employees and customers.
As Central Visayas and Cebu City are still in GCQ and ECQ status, respectively, the DTI issued a series of health guidelines for mall, shopping centers, salons, barbershops, restaurants and fast foods, as well as guidelines, on workplace prevention and control of COVID-19.
Caberte said that the guidelines will not only ensure the safety and health of workers, more importantly they are meant to enhance the productive capacity by eliminating risks in the workplace.
“Let us follow health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to ensure that we don’t lose the gains we’ve so far achieved,” Caberte added.
Caberte said that DTI has allowed industries which deliver essentials goods and services to operate in full capacity during GCQ and ECQ. These include agriculture, forestry, fisheries, manufacturing, hospitals, logistics services, power, energy, water, waste collection, sewerage and telecommunications sectors.
Also allowed in both ECQ and GCQ are retail establishments, but limited to groceries, supermarkets, public markets, and drug stores. Delivery services, laundry shops, gasoline stations, construction workers, and media companies are also permitted to operate in both ECQ and GCQ, Caberte went on.
“Our present situation is temporary. Let us ensure strict compliance and take this as a civic duty to be able to go faster to normal scheme,” she implored.