On New Normal: Department of Tourism Released Guidelines for Restaurants

Eating out is now possible, but do know there are a lot you should know about it before pushing through

The pandemic really has shifted the way we are living and it is our duty to adapt to what we are in right now – and that is the new normal. There is just no going back to what we were, to what we used to have, to what we were used doing, because the pandemic is hard to beat, so we have to just work our way through it and around it until experts could find a way to really just end it.

Anyway, as the new normal has rolled out and restaurants are gradually operating, some even are being allowed to re-open, the Department of Tourism announced a set of guidelines for Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited restaurants and restaurants in DOT-accredited accommodation establishments such as hotels and resorts, some of which include the requiring of face masks and the prohibition of buffets and self-service stations, in the hopes to keep everyone safe and well.

Photo by Philippines’ Department of Tourism

Spot.ph has broken down the released restaurant guidelines of Department of Tourism and here we are, sharing it with you guys:

Restaurant owners are expected to have their employees fill out a Health Declaration Form prior to starting their duty as well as to monitor the body temperature of their employees every time they report to work. Providing their employees with food safety apparel, which includes hairnets or haircaps, face masks, face shields, gloves, aprons, and shoe covers is also their responsibility as well as make sure all their employees undergo an annual health checkup. Plus, restaurant owners should ensure their employees are trained and regularly updated on health concerns by installing a safety bulletin board they could look into from time to time and of course, ensure the restaurant premises are properly disinfected and sanitized frequently.

Meanwhile, for the restaurant staff – they must practice proper hygiene and good grooming at all time alongside avoid touching ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands. Observing physical distancing of at least one meter from one another while working and wearing food safety apparel while on duty should also be done. On top of that, for client-faving staff, such as waiters, cashiers, and bussers, washing of hands with soap and water at least every 20 minutes is definitely a must.

Furthermore, regarding to the restaurant premises, 50% of the maximum seating or venue capacity is allowed. Safety precautions should also be applied like the placing of disinfecting mats at the entrance, seats arranged one meter apart, transparent dividers are present for face-to-face seating, menu should be displayed on the counter or other visible areas, and a whole lot more that tackles more about setting up signs, zones, systems that reminds everyone of keeping a safe distance and maintaining proper hygiene.

Additionally, customers have responsibilities to take on as well when they decide to dine in such as masks should be worn at all times, except when eating and drinking and they have to have to get their body temperature checked. They also need to fill up a health declaration form before entering and sanitize their footwear using sanitizing mats and drying pads installed at the entrance; and they also have to put down their name and contact details in a contact-tracing log sheet to be provided by the restaurant.

Lastly, for Food service, single-use items like napkins, utensils, and condiments, should be wrapped in biodegradable packaging. Cashless payment is encouraged, but employees can also hand and receive cash through a small tray. In line with that, it is also advised that restaurants adopt a pay-as-you-order policy.

Check out Philippines’ Department of Tourism’s Facebook Page for more information and updates.

*Featured Photo by Philippines’ Department of Tourism

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