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Cinemas, museums can reopen in GCQ areas starting March 5

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) again reclassified business establishments, allowing previously restricted activities in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

According to Memorandum Circular No. 21-08, the DTI reclassified certain businesses to Class III from Class IV, setting the maximum operational capacity for the following:

1. Full capacity in GCQ and modified GCQ (MGCQ) areas

  • Driving schools

2. Half capacity in GCQ and 75% capacity in MGCQ

  • Arcades
  • Libraries, museums, cultural centers
  • Tourist attractions such as parks, theme parks, historical landmarks
  • Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) activities

3. 30% capacity in GCQ and half capacity in MGCQ

  • MICE social events

4. 25% capacity in GCQ and half capacity in MGCQ

  • Cinemas

The national government's coronavirus task force earlier allowed cinemas to operate in Metro Manila by Monday, but this was postponed in anticipation of the DTI circular.

Under the rule, moviegoers must be seated one meter apart, and eating and drinking are not allowed. Cinema employees must also wear personal protective equipment.

According to the DTI, the circular will take effect on Friday, March 5, upon publication and filing with the University of the Philippines Law Center.

Given the new rule, only 3 establishments are not allowed in areas under GCQ, but can operate at half capacity in MGCQ areas:

  • language, dance, acting, and voice schools
  • Funfairs and similar activities
  • Tattoo and body piercing

"This is part of our mandate to ensure that as more businesses reopen to provide more jobs and sources of income for our countrymen, the strict health protocols are enforced," said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

On Monday, the Philippines kicked off its vaccination program, seen as the be-all and end-all of pandemic response by President Rodrigo Duterte. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.

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