Restaurant dine-ins might be allowed soon, but how about buffets?

Metro Manila eases to general community quarantine (GCQ) today, June 1, despite the lack of a COVID-19 vaccine. The aim is to help kickstart the economy but the government still urges all to follow health protocols that can help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

With lockdown rules toned down, it is also possible that we can dine in our favorite restaurants soon.

However, the Department of Trade and Industry noted that even when dine-in is allowed in restaurants sometime soon, buffets may not yet be allowed.

beef steak buffet stock photo

The DTI will require restaurants to put up table partitions and mark floors to ensure proper social distancing.

The DTI released a guideline for restaurant operators on Sunday where it said that limited dine-in operations will only be allowed for areas that have shifted to a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Here are some rules according to the guideline that restaurants should adhere to once they are allowed to reopen:

  • Have a “no mask, no entry” policy
  • Install floor mats or disinfectant footbaths at the entrance except if the establishment is located inside a mall that already provides these
  • Restaurant entrance must have rubbing alcohol and health checklists
  • There should be a roving officer who will ensure a distance of one meter between each person in line, and those with temperatures over 37.5 degrees celsius and other COVID-19 symptoms should not be allowed to enter the premises
  • Sanitation of dining tables and chairs must be done after each use
  • Tables and chairs should be kept at a distance of at least one meter on each side
  • Face-to-face seating will only be allowed if dividers are installed
  • Furniture made with porous materials should be covered in plastic
  • Dining areas should be well-ventilated and give quick access to sanitation tools
  • Contactless transactions are encouraged
  • Order and bar counters should be disinfected every half hour
  • Kitchen staff must always wear masks, sanitize equipment, and wash hands regularly
  • Employees not involved in food preparation may not enter the kitchen

As of now, restaurants are permitted to operate in take-out and delivery schemes. The DTI requests to wait for more announcements on when dine-in operations will be allowed.

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