The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the proposal to expand the seating capacity of restaurants in the National Capital Region as the Department of Tourism (DOT) lauded their decision.
"It is worth noting that the IATF-EID backed the proposal as 99% of tourism workers employed in DOT-accredited hotels and restaurants in Metro Manila have been inoculated against Covid-19," Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat expressed.
In a recently released Joint Memorandum Circular, the DOT and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) detailed the health and safety guidelines regarding the operations of indoor and outdoor dine-in services under the alert levels system.
According to the Guidelines on the Pilot Implementation of Alert Levels System for COVID-19 Response in the NCR, indoor dine-in services increased to 20% seating capacity for fully vaccinated individuals.
In comparison, outdoor or al-fresco dine-in services shall remain at 30% of the establishment's seating capacity.
Meanwhile, aside from the increased 20% capacity for indoor dining, tourism establishments that the government granted with a Safety Seal, will have an additional 10%. The same can also be said for outdoor or al-fresco dine-in services.
"We are confident with the cooperation of our tourism stakeholders — guests, workers and hotel and restaurant operators — to ensure the safe reopening of restaurants to a higher number of guests by strictly observing the new seating capacity," Puyat stated.
She also encouraged the public to patronize DOT-accredited establishments since their employees are already vaccinated, and the department strictly monitors its operations to ensure the observance of health and safety protocols.