Metro Manila restaurants can finally reopen starting Sept. 16 as the region shifts to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) on Alert Level 4, though it comes with caveats and limitations.
Dine-in services for one will be limited to 10% capacity and only for fully vaccinated individuals. Senior citizens can dine in as well, as long as they are fully vaccinated.
“They (senior citizens) are included. As long as they are vaccinated, puwede,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in an interview on ANC Headstart.
Romulo-Puyat said establishments will check the vaccination cards of people who want to dine in.
“You should bring your vaccination cards and fully vaccinated ka dapat,” said Puyat.
Al-fresco dining, on the other hand, will be limited to 30% capacity to vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
When asked how businesses can avoid opening and closing during granular lockdowns, Romulo-Puyat said it’s “important” for establishments to make sure their workers have been vaccinated. “We’re looking out not only for those who want to eat out but (also) for the safety of those who are working in hotels. It’s really a balancing act with the IATF and health experts natin, to balance the economy without compromising the health and safety of everybody,” she added.
If Metro Manila's GCQ classification eases to Alert Level 3, establishments will be allowed to operate at 30% capacity, and at 50% capacity under Alert Level 2. Food services can operate at full capacity in areas under alert level one.
Intrazonal and interzonal trips will also be allowed in regions under Alert Level 4. This means that people from NCR can travel to tourist destinations under GCQ and MGCQ—except those below 18 years old and above 65.
The new alert level system is the government’s attempt at replacing region- and nationwide lockdowns with granular lockdowns. The system also sees areas with higher COVID-19 cases under strict regulations.
Banner and thumbnail photo by Andy Zapata Jr./The Philippine STAR