Some of the minimum health protocols implemented in a fast food chain in a mall in Quezon City. (Photo collage courtesy of the DTI)

Dine-in operations of restaurants and fast food chains in areas classified under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) are now permitted after the Inter-agency Task Force against Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved the health protocols for restaurants.

Based on the guidelines on minimum health protocols set by the IATF, a ‘no mask, no entry policy’ will be strictly enforced in every establishment. Each establishment must also enforce the maximum number of allowable persons inside. Each establishment is also ordered to have employees enforce the minimum health protocols.

Floor mat or foot bath with disinfectants will be set up in entrances unless the restaurant is located in malls. Thermal temperature checking and spraying of rubbing alcohol on the hands will be conducted in entrances as well. Customers will also be required to fill up a health checklist.

Visible floor markings to guide clients in queueing shall be installed. Food menus per table will be made available.  Contactless order taking will also be the new norm.

Tables and chairs must be distanced to at least one (1) meter apart on all sides. Face to face seating is allowed but only with proper dividers installed. Tables and chairs must be sanitized after each customer’s use.

The guidelines also mandate the set-up of different service stations inside such as designated area for pick up of take home orders; separate handwashing sink for kitchen staff and dine-in customers; and contactless drive-thru counters.  Play areas will remain closed.

Buffet and self-service areas for food bars, condiments, and utensils  are not permitted.

The Department of Trade and Industry said that restaurants in areas under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine and General Community Quarantine would have to wait for further announcements on when they will be allowed to reopen.  (Rommel F. Lopez)