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Seniors allowed to dine in
“Seniors will be allowed but are highly discouraged,” Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said in a text message yesterday.
Walter Bollozos, File

Seniors allowed to dine in

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Senior citizens will be allowed to go to restaurants and fast food establishments for dine-in service, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

“Seniors will be allowed but are highly discouraged,” Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said in a text message yesterday.

Under the guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), senior citizens or those who are 60 years old and above are required to stay home at all times, except when they are purchasing essential goods and services or going to work in permitted industries and offices in general community quarantine (GCQ) areas.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said the IATF has approved the resumption of dine-in services in restaurants and fast food establishments in GCQ areas starting tomorrow at 30 percent capacity.

Restaurants and fast food establishments in GCQ areas are currently allowed to open only for take-out and delivery.

Areas placed under GCQ are National Capital Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Pangasinan, Albay, Davao City and Zamboanga City.

Restaurants and fast food establishments in modified GCQ areas or the rest of the country have been allowed to offer dine-in service since June 1 at 50 percent capacity.

While the government is allowing resumption of dine-in services, restaurants and fast food establishments have to implement health protocols.

As part of the guidelines on minimum health standards released by the DTI for dine-in restaurants and fast food establishments, information materials should be posted at the entrance and other prominent areas on the following: enforcement of no mask, no entry policy; social distancing protocols; maximum number of allowed individuals; regular sanitation schedule and procedures; available alternative payment methods; available methods of ordering and picking up of orders; client-personnel interaction protocols and enforcement measures.

The establishments should have a floor mat or foot bath with disinfectant at the entrance unless the mall entrances have already provided such.

At the queueing area, customers waiting to be seated should all be wearing masks and be at least one meter apart.

Prior to entry, all customers will need to have their body temperature checked and should accomplish the health checklist.

Inside the establishment, tables and chairs would need to be at least one meter apart on all sides, have proper dividers for face-to-face seating and be properly sanitized after each customer’s use.

Furniture with porous materials should be covered in plastic for ease of sanitation and there should be clean trash bins for used papers and used tissue, as well as clean washrooms and toilets.

High risk areas such as order and bar counters have to be disinfected every 30 minutes.

Workers in restaurants and fast food establishments should observe proper personal hygiene; be in personal protective equipment including face mask, face shield, gloves and hair cap; wear closed shoes; not put on any piece of jewelry; observe social distancing; wash hands at least once every hour or after every encounter with guests; keep distance of 1.5 meters between personnel; observe proper disposal of equipment, utensils and plates; and enforce client-personnel interaction protocols.

Restaurants and fast food establishments are prohibited from setting up buffet and self-service areas for food bars, condiments and utensils.

In addition, there should be a designated area for take away or pick up; separate hand washing sink or basin for kitchen staff and dine-in customers; contactless drive-thru counters and closure of play areas.

As customers exit the establishment, there should be no physical contact during payment and small trays should be available for accepting cash.

DINE-IN DTI SENIOR CITIZENS
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