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What Are The Guidelines For Restaurants, Groceries And Other Food Businesses Under MECQ?

Know what you can and can't do in the next two weeks

Metro Manila, along with the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal, will be back under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) starting tomorrow, August 4, until August 18, 2018. The MECQ is the second strictest level of community quarantine. Here’s what it means in for the restaurants and other food-based businesses in the affected areas. 

1. Groceries, markets, convenience stores and other essentials will remain open. 

These establishments will be fully 100% operational, but must DTI guidelines. Strict safety protocols will be observed.

“Under the MECQ, there are still a number of business sectors allowed although most at limited scale, while some of the recently allowed sectors under GCQ such as dine-in restaurants, barbershops, salons, and the recent additions such as gyms, review and testing centers, other personal grooming shops, internet cafes, shall not be allowed temporarily in the next 15 days," said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. 

2.  Restaurants will be open for takeout or delivery services, but not for dine in 

In addition, restaurants are only allowed to operate up to 50% operational capacity. Malls and commercial centers are also operational up to 50% capacity, but only for non-leisure services, and will need to follow DTI guidelines.  Some restaurants voluntarily closed down even before the announcement.

3. Delivery and courier services will be fully operational 

Not only that, courier providers are taking steps to provide additional support and protection for their riders and partners. Grab partnered with the National Taskforce on COVID and BCDA in launching its RT-PCR testing site for drivers and delivery partners in Metro Manila.

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4. A liquor ban might be applied in MECQ areas depending on the decision of the LGUs

You might remember that several LGUs in Metro Manila imposed a strict liquor ban after Luzon was placed under strict lockdown last March. Once again, the decision rests on the LGUs.

"Ang liquor ban po talaga, lokal na pamahalaan po nag-iimpose niyan. So 'yan po ay imposed on the basis of ordinances," Roque said in a Palace press briefing. 

The MECQ was put in place in response to an appeal made by the medical community for stricter lockdown to prevent the collapse of the health care system. 

Lead photo: Jason Leung for Unsplash