MANILA – The Makati City government on Thursday reminded anew food and restaurant business owners to comply with the government's health and safety protocols as Metro Manila reverted to less restricting general community quarantine (GCQ).

Mayor Abigail Binay said the city government has approved a local ordinance requiring all food establishments to ensure the health and safety of residents against the risks from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“We enjoin all the owners of food businesses providing dine-in services to strictly adhere to the rules and regulations provided in the ordinance during times of crisis, such as this pandemic,” she said.

Under City Ordinance No. 2020-165, the implementing guidelines on operations stated that food establishments should operate with limited occupancy to 50 percent of the usual capacity and strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards as well as physical distancing protocols.

The city ordinance also allows restaurants and fast-food businesses, including canteens, food courts, food parks, and other eateries to offer dine-in services during GCQ.

Bars, meanwhile, are still prohibited to open.

However, restaurants are allowed to serve all kinds of food and beverages, including alcoholic drinks, provided that customers should only consume an allowable amount of alcoholic drinks — any two wine glasses per person or a maximum of one 750 mL bottle of wine for two people, two 330 mL bottles of beers and two servings of cocktail or spirit glasses, during a two-hour meal.

"Customers should only buy food and consume it together with alcohol while they are inside the establishment. Consumption of alcohol in bulk (pitchers, buckets, and cases) is prohibited," it added.

Safe dining guidelines

Under the ordinance's safe dining guidelines, all food establishments must strictly implement a "no face mask, no entry" policy and social distancing measures.

Thermal scanning of all personnel, suppliers, and customers must be enforced at all times.

Persons with a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees celsius and those exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms or any communicable disease should not be allowed to enter the premises.

Business owners should ensure proper sanitation of restrooms, kitchen, tables and chairs, and installation of air purifiers and HEPA filters.

The local government said violators of the ordinance will be penalized with temporary closure for three days and will be fined PHP5,000 on the first offense, temporary closure for a month and PHP5,000 fine for the second offense and closure for a period of not more than a year and PHP5,000 or imprisonment for not more than a year, or both at the discretion of the court, on the third and succeeding offenses.

Binay said the guidelines will also be imposed "when the city is under a state of calamity, public health emergency or similar emergency declarations, to ensure the prevention, rapid containment, and restriction of the spread of infectious/communicable diseases, pandemics, epidemics, and/or outbreaks of diseases."

The ordinance will take effect on August 31. (PNA)