No dine-in resto services for unvaccinated customers

Outdoor or al-fresco dine-in services in restaurants and eateries, and personal care services are allowed to operate a maximum of 30 percent venue/seating capacity regardless of vaccination status and 10 percent indoor capacity but limited to fully COVID-19 vaccinated guests only starting September 16.

This is part of the guidelines by the IATF as the government shifts to Alert Level System in its fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus with the National Capital Region as pilot area under Alert Level 4 effective Thursday, this week.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that at least 150,000 to 200,000 workers out of the 1.2 million jobs in the National Capital Region are expected to go back to work and estimated P180 million in revenues.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

While restaurants and eateries are allowed to operate dine-in services at 10 percent capacity, they will cater only to individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Their reopening is is also on condition that all workers/employees of these establishments have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Local government units where these restaurants and eateries are located may decrease the allowable venue capacity.

It is also provided further still these establishments follow the minimum public health standards guidelines of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Tourism promoting MPHS. These include placing of acrylic or similar dividers, regular disinfection, and appropriate seating configuration ensuring social distancing, shall be strictly enforced and observed.

For personal care services limited to barbershops, hair spas, nail spas, and beauty salons shall be allowed at a maximum of 30 percent venue/seating capacity if such services are conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status.

These establishments are also allowed to operate at a limited 10 percent indoor venue/seating capacity but may only cater to individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor capacities.

The guidelines also stated that patrons/clients and service providers wear face masks at all times. Provided further, that all workers/employees of these establishments are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Provided further still, that MPHS shall be strictly maintained. This is also on condition that there is no objection from the LGU where these activities may take place.

The restaurants and personal care economic sectors are estimated to employ 2.4 million Filipinos.

Lopez explained that the Level 4 impact may not be much, but stressed this is better than the weekly revenue loss of P1.5 billion and 1.2 million workers jobless if this system is not implemented.

He also explained that the vaccination status requirements for dine-in services for restaurants and indoor personal care services is a form of an incentive for those fully vaccinated, and not to discriminate the unvaccinated. The dine-in services and indoor personal care services also accounts for 90 percent of these establishments' operation while the al-fresco or outdoor is 10 percent.

Overall, only 12 percent of these economic sectors will be restored in Metro Manila under Alert Level 4. He noted that 3 percent of these establishments nationwide were closed but NCR is higher at 10 percent because of the current quarantine status. He, however, said that more enterprises have opened into pandemic proof business model like e-commerce and delivery services.

Once the Alert Level improves to Level 3, these economic sectors would be allowed 50 percent operating capacity regardless of vaccine status.