Metro Manila has shifted to general community quarantine (GCQ), allowing for the reopening of businesses and the resumption of transport services. Unfortunately, you still can’t go out to dine at your favorite restaurant, as doing so could further spread COVID-19. The past two months of lockdown prevented you from eating out, but the next meal outside of your home may come sooner than you think.
Dine-in services in restaurants could be allowed under GCQ two weeks from now, said Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Mon Lopez.
Lopez announce it on GMA News’ Unang Balita on June 4—three days after dine-in services were allowed in restaurants in modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas.
Under the looser and less restricted MGCQ, leisure and tourism activities are allowed, but operations must be scaled down.
“Nilalakad pa natin iyong [allowing] dine-in sa GCQ, sana in two weeks, maaprubahan na ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force),” Lopez said.
“Kahit 30%, tignan natin kung pwede na magsimula,” he added.
Earlier, two food establishment chains—Bistro Group and Foodee Global Concepts—called on the government to allow dine-in services in restaurants under GCQ, as most of their branches are threatened to close due the health crisis.
Deliveries and take-out orders bring in money, but restaurants are reliant on dine-in services for income.
Bistro Group has 110 restaurant establishments including TGIFridays, Red Lobster, Hard Rock Cafe, Buffalo Wild Wings, Baker and Cook, Denny’s Texas Roadhouse, Modern Shanghai, Fish and Company, Italianni's, Bulgogi Brothers, Watami, The Test Kitchen, My South Hall, Savage, and El Pollo Loco.
Meanwhile, Foodee Global Concepts has 200 restaurant branches including Todd English Food Hall, Tim Ho Wan, DO, Food, Maisen, Pound, and Mesa, to name a few.
The reopening of restaurants for dine-in services has been on the wishlist of many since the quarantine began. Should food establishments be allowed to resume operations, you’ll see major changes to accommodate social distancing, reduced contact, and other health guidelines in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Main image from Sander Dalhuisen on Unsplash.