Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said restaurants with outdoor dining are allowed in areas where the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is imposed.
In a text message to reporters on Sunday night, Lopez said food establishments with alfresco dining services are only allowed up to 50 percent capacity, with diagonal seating arrangement and acrylic dividers on tables to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
He added that indoor dine-in services are still not allowed in areas under MECQ, but food establishments can continue to operate with their take-out and delivery services.
From April 12 to 30, the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal or the NCR Plus as well as Santiago City in Isabela, and the provinces of Quirino and Abra will be under the less stringent MECQ.
Earlier, the DTI chief said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) might be sensitive in allowing indoor dine-in due to the highly contagious new variants of Covid-19.
“The IATF recommended to the President to shift to MECQ after two weeks of ECQ to restore more jobs and livelihood for the people,” Lopez said.
On the other hand, Lopez added that the government continues to ramp up its health care capacity.
“But this comes with the continuing priority to increase the health care capacity such as ICU (intensive care unit) rooms and isolation units and contact tracing capabilities to lower the number of new cases per day,” he added.
He also urged Filipinos to strictly adhere to minimum health protocols and avoid non-essential gatherings to slow down the number of new daily Covid-19 cases. SOVEREIGNPH