Tue. Sep 21st, 2021

MANILA – About 94 percent of economic activities will open under a general community quarantine (GCQ), Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Thursday.

But Lopez said companies are still encouraged to implement work-from-home arrangements even when most of the economic activities will return under GCQ.

He said the remaining 6 percent of economic activities that are not allowed to operate even in GCQ status are under Category 4.

“The criteria for this is (that) the risk in operating when it comes to transmission, is high,” he said in a television interview.

He added it will be too risky for those under Category 4 to re-open their operation even under GCQ because these have mass gatherings while physical distancing is difficult to implement.

Establishments under Category 4 include libraries, museums, art galleries, botanical and zoological gardens, water parks, beaches, resorts, travel agencies, tour operators, casinos and other gambling activities, massage parlors, sauna baths, facial and foot spa, and waxing salons, and other amusement and leisure places.

Since the start of the month, some parts of the country are already under GCQ while enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is extended until May 15 in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), Pangasinan, Benguet, Iloilo, and Cebu.

The DTI and the Department of Labor and Employment issued minimum health protocols for businesses that will re-open under the GCQ.

Among these health standards that should be implemented in the workplace include wearing face masks, observing physical distancing, regular disinfection process, constant checking of temperature, and submission of a daily health symptoms questionnaire.

Companies should also test their employees who are sick or are suspected of having Covid-19. (IA/PNA)

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