food and beverage industry

Things to know about Philippine dine-in rules according to alert levels

Steph Arnaldo
Things to know about Philippine dine-in rules according to alert levels

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Here's what you need to know about dining in restaurants, depending on Metro Manila's current alert level

Starting Thursday, September 16 until September 30, a new Alert Level and Granular Lockdown System will be implemented in Metro Manila. For this period, an Alert Level 4 will be imposed over the region.

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GUIDE: Localized lockdown, alert level system for Metro Manila

GUIDE: Localized lockdown, alert level system for Metro Manila

The new alert level scheme is designed to replace the current system of quarantine classifications of ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ. Each alert level comes with its own rules and restrictions regarding age mobility, interzonal travel, prohibited establishments, activities, and dining in restaurants.

Here’s what you need to know about the dine-in rules of food establishments, depending on the region’s current alert level.

Alert Level 5

The strictest alert level, Alert Level 5, prohibits customers from dining in restaurants, including al fresco dining. Instead, only take-out and delivery orders will be allowed. Under this alert level, only APORs (Authorized Persons Outside of Residence) are allowed to travel within Metro Manila.

Alert Level 4

Under this alert level, restaurants are allowed to open for dine-in, but only at 10% capacity for indoor seating, and only for customers who are fully vaccinated.

For restaurants with al fresco seating, up to 30% capacity of guests can be accommodated outdoors. Restaurants must also ensure that all of their employees are fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated customers are required to present their complete vaccination cards upon entry. However, according to a One News interview, Philippine National Police Chief General Guillermo Eleazar said that law enforcement agencies still have no means to verify if a vaccination card or certificate is real or counterfeit.

Eleazar said that police are still waiting for the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) to officially launch digital vaccination certificates for the public for easier verification.

Alert Level 3

Restaurants are allowed to accommodate up to 30% of their indoor seating capacity for all customers, regardless if vaccinated or not. An additional 10% will be granted to establishments who have a Safety Seal.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the voluntary Safety Seal Certification affirms that an establishment is “compliant with the minimum public health standards set by the government and uses or integrates its contact tracing with StaySafe.ph.”

Alert Level 2

Establishments can now cater to up to 50% indoor seating capacity, with an additional 10% if the venue has a Safety Seal.

Alert Level 1

The least restrictive alert level – Alert Level 1 – poses no more restrictions when it comes to dine-in customers Establishments will be allowed to fully operate with no curfew restrictions, seating capacities, and vaccination mandates.

Regardless of alert level, establishments are still required to enforce the necessary safety protocols when it comes to dining in – physical distancing between tables and seats, temperature checks, contact tracing forms, plastic barriers, and the wearing of face shields and face masks by both staff and customers while inside the restaurant. – Rappler.com

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.