As the country transitions to general community quarantine (GCQ), Filipinos are getting ready to venture out. But with the threat of COVID-19 still, there are plenty of worries that put a damper on this so-called freedom. So the Department of Tourism (DOT) released operational guidelines to help restaurants ensure the health and safety of their customers and employees.
What to Expect When Dining Out
No Face Mask, No Entry
Restaurant employees have to wear a face mask throughout their entire shift. This started even during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) as some places remained open for front liners and civilians. But as restaurants open their doors once again to the public, customers are expected to wear their own face masks. Otherwise, they will be barred from entry to the restaurant.
If you were tasked to run errands during ECQ, you know that all establishments check your temperature at the door. Expect this to continue as more people come out of their homes. Restaurants will be taking your temperature at the door before allowing you entry. If the scanner indicates a temperature higher than 37.6 °C, you will likely be asked to stay outside. Although you can still order, it will have to be for takeaway.
Don’t expect to meet up with all of your friends at once at your favorite restaurant. Social distancing is still upheld in these restaurants and they’re going to be stricter with more people. For establishments that allow dine-ins, expect fewer tables and more acrylic barriers. Restaurants are expected to only take 50 percent of their usual maximum capacity.
Businesses are doing their part to reduce the chances of contamination. The DOT’s guidelines encourage restaurants to adopt cashless payment methods to prevent long queues at the cashier.
During ECQ, several establishments offered online services to continue their operations. Expect restaurants to continue this trend now that the country moves to GCQ. This is all in compliance with the operational guidelines. Restaurants are encouraged to incorporate mobile ordering into their operations to prevent customers from crowding inside and outside their establishments.
What You Can Do in the New Normal
Just because the country is transitioning to GCQ, doesn’t mean that the threat is gone. If anything, people are more at risk of getting sick.
So just because you can go out, should you?
If you’re one of the lucky few who can afford to stay at home, please do. But if you do have to go out, do your part in ensuring the public’s health and safety.
- Wear a face mask at all times
- Bring disinfectant gel or alcohol with you
- Wash your hands with soap and water when you can
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve
- Avoid touching your face
Adjusting to the new normal will take time. For your sake and that of others, there’s no reason to rush this process. Your weekend brunch out can wait.
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Issa loves comic books, movies, and all genres of music. You'll probably find her in some coffee shop in the South.