GCQ rules to allow 75% outdoor dining capacity

RESTAURANTS will be allowed to increase capacity in their outdoor dining spaces to 75% and operate indoor areas at 50% capacity under general community quarantine (GCQ), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

DTI in Memorandum Circular 21-14 signed April 23 presented a list of allowed operating capacities for businesses. Outdoor dining at restaurants had been permitted to operate at 50% capacity under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), while indoor dining was prohibited.

Personal-care services like beauty salons and massage therapy, meeting and conference venues, tourist attractions, and indoor non-contact sports businesses will be allowed to run at 50% capacity under GCQ. Such businesses were not allowed to operate under MECQ.

Non-contact sports like badminton, equestrian, and golf can operate at 50% capacity under MECQ and at full capacity under GCQ. Outdoor contact sports are not allowed at either lockdown level, along with entertainment venues, cinemas, internet cafes, and amusement parks.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez last week said that Metro Manila and nearby provinces could be placed under GCQ in May if the regions are able to improve contact tracing and increase hospital bed and intensive care unit capacity. The areas were placed under a stricter form of lockdown after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases surged.

The government last week also launched its safety seal certification program, which would provide establishments decals for display at entry points if they are found compliant with the required health and safety protocols. — Jenina P. Ibañez