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Alcoholic drinks now allowed at dine-in restaurants

Restaurants with dine-in operations are required to follow minimum health standards prescribed by the government. — REUTERS

July 20, 2020 | 12:33 am


Restaurants with dine-in operations will now be allowed to serve each customer up to two alcoholic beverages, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

DTI Memorandum Circular 20-39 issued on July 17 officially increases the dine-in cap to 50% for areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and 75% to areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting on July 21. Metro Manila is currently under GCQ.

Restaurants and fastfood establishments are allowed to serve all types of food and beverages, but alcoholic beverages are limited to two individual servings per customer.

Buffet services are allowed if there are food servers and covers for the food trays.

Families living in the same household may dine together in one table that is separated at least one meter from other customers’ tables. The family must show proof that they stay in one address.

The establishments may operate up to 11 p.m. daily.

“(Local government units) are enjoined to adjust curfew hours up to 12 midnight to allow greater daily turnover of dine-in services and enhance income opportunities for workers,” the memorandum said.

Establishments primarily serving alcohol, such as bars, are not allowed to operate, according to a resolution from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Most cities have lifted their respective liquor bans. Makati City has approved an ordinance banning individuals from drinking liquor outside of their residence during a state of calamity or public health emergency.

Restaurants with dine-in operations are required to follow minimum health standards prescribed by the government, including registration with Safepass or, distribution of contact tracing forms, thermal scanning of all personnel, suppliers, and customers, and provision for sanitizers.

DTI also requires establishments to improve their exhaust system, implement a “no face mask, no entry” policy, and implement physical distancing.

DTI also asks establishments to minimize music to discourage loud talking, “which increases the likelihood of droplet transmission.”

Establishments are also encouraged to adopt additional measures, including installing air purifiers and acrylic dividers at least 18-inches high for face-to-face seating.

Various government agencies, including the Trade, Health, Tourism, and Labor departments, may conduct restaurant inspections.

Establishments that do not comply with the health guidelines after a warning may be temporarily closed down.

Barbershops and salons may also operate with up to 50% of their capacity for GCQ areas and 75% for MGCQ areas. — Jenina P. Ibañez