Palace reminder: Dine-in services allowed in MGCQ areas 'but don't have a party'
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Palace reminder: Dine-in services allowed in MGCQ areas 'but don't have a party'

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - June 2, 2020 - 3:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — Food establishments in areas under modified general community quarantine are now allowed to resume their dine-in operations, Malacañang said Tuesday.

The government’s task force on coronavirus response has allowed the dine-in services of restaurants and fast food chains to operate at 50% capacity in MGCQ areas.

"Pinayagan na ang dine-in operations pero di nangangahulugan na piyesta at inuman na," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in Filipino.

(Dine-in operations are allowed but that doesn't mean it's party time)

The Palace and others in government have repeatedly used the narrative that Filipinos are stubborn to justify strict quarantine enforcement and to explain why COVID-19 cases have been increasing.

An SWS survey conducted during the quarantine found that a majority of respondents left the house one to three times a week to get essentials like food.

SWS also found that "77% of working-age Filipinos (15 years old and above) always use a face mask when going out of their houses, 68% always wash their hands several times a day, and 64% always keep 'social distance' or a safe distance of one meter from other people when outside their homes."

Restaurants that will reopen must adhere to minimum health standards, Roque said.

Life After Lockdown: Restos pivot to delivery as Filipinos’ social life moves away from dining

No buffets, self-serve dining

According to the guidelines earlier issued by the Department of Trade and Industry, buffet and self-service areas remain prohibited and play areas must be closed. Food establishments were advised to set up separate handwashing sink for kitchen staff and dine-in customers and designated area for take away or pick up.

To prevent physical contact during payment, restaurants and fast food chains must provide small trays for accepting cash and alternative modes of payment.

Most parts of the country have shifted to modified GCQ—the lowest form of community quarantine in the Philippines. Only Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Albay, Central Visayas, Zamboanga City and Davao City remain under GCQ.

The Philippines has so far recorded 18,638 cases of COVID-19 with 960 deaths. Some 3,979 patients have recovered from the disease.

RELATED: Amid calls for public 'discipline', officials reminded to follow own quarantine rules

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