The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Friday, October 1, that they will no longer recommend the use of foot baths, disinfection tents, misting chambers, or sanitation booths for establishments offering dine-in services amid the prevailing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Under Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2021-02, which sets guidelines for the operations of indoor and outdoor dine-services under the new alert level system, the DTI and DOT said a hand washing station with adequate water supply and soap or alcohol shall instead be installed in food establishments.
Trash receptacles and soap and towel dispensers shall also be available “hands-free.”
As some restaurants cram their customers into a small part of their establishment to comply with limited operation capacity, the DTI and DOT required that chairs shall be placed at least one meter apart on all sides from one another. The same guidelines also apply in queuing areas.
“For indoor dining, install table top clear dividers made of acrylic or any similar transparent material to prevent droplet transmission in face-to-face seating arrangements,” the memorandum read.
“For outdoor dining, implement an alternate/diagonal seating arrangement if table top clear dividers are not installed,” it added.
Further, only those fully-vaccinated for at least two weeks may be allowed for indoor dine-in services and people sharing the same household may eat together in one table provided that they are at least one-meter away from other customers.
On the other hand, do-it-yourself refilling stations and play areas are prohibited.
“Ensure that music volume is kept to a minimum to discourage loud talking, which increases the likelihood of droplet transmission,” the memorandum also stated.
The memorandum also reiterated other health measures that must be followed including the wearing of personal protective equipment and the installation of proper ventilation and informational signages about COVID-19.