When coronavirus took away the pleasure of eating out, many of us freaked out. Doubtless, dining out is so ingrained in the Filipino culture; it’s hard to imagine the Philippines sans group-friendly restaurants. But with the newly released set of restaurant guidelines, it looks like we’ll have to deal with an entirely different dining experience — at least for a while.
On 9 Jun 2020, the Department of Tourism (DOT) posted a set of guidelines for DOT-accredited restaurants operating under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
In summary, here’s what the guidelines dictate:
How will restaurants look like under MGCQ?
- Disinfectant mats. Restaurants shall have disinfectant mats installed at the entrance.
- Distanced seating plans. Seating plans must allow one-metre physical distancing. In the case of fixed seating, restaurants must block alternating seats from customers.
- Transparent dividers. Face-to-face seating must have transparent dividers installed in between the seats.
- Contactless menus. Restaurants shall display their menus on the counter; food attendants shall manage handheld menus if needed.
- Signages. Restaurants shall install signages to remind customers of proper hygiene.
- No self-service stations. Restaurants shall not provide self-service stations (i.e. buffet, salad bars, condiment stations).
- Take-out zones. Restaurants shall designate “take-out zones” for customers to pick-up their orders.
- Floor markers. Restaurants shall have markers for queueing areas to ensure physical distancing.
- No leisure facilities. Leisure facilities (e.g. karaoke machines, play areas) shall be temporarily suspended.
- Single-use items. Restaurants shall provide customers with single-use items (i.e. utensils, condiments) wrapped in biodegradable packaging.
- Covered meals. Food attendants shall cover meals properly before serving to the customer.
- Cashless payments. Contactless payments (i.e. cashless, pay-as-you-order) shall be utilised.
Restaurant guidelines for customers
- No mask, no entry policy. Customers without face masks shall not be allowed to enter restaurants. They may only remove face masks while eating and drinking.
- Body temperature check. Restaurants shall administer body temperature checking upon entry. They shall prohibit those with fever and flu symptoms.
- Physical distancing. Customers shall observe one-metre physical distancing in communal areas (i.e. dining areas, restrooms, queuing areas).
- Sanitising mats. Customers shall sanitise their footwear at the entrance of the restaurant.
- Contact tracing. Customers shall provide their names and contact details in the restaurant-provided log sheet.
- Health declaration form. Customers shall fill out the health declaration form upon entry.
This new set of restaurant guidelines will surely make our dining experience a lot different than before; but, we must do what we can to prevent the further spreading of COVID-19. Stay safe, folks!