The joint recommendations of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on health and safety protocols for restaurant dine-in operations were approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

During the 42nd IATF-EID meeting on June 1, the task force agreed that the resumption and continued operations of restaurants during quarantine and during the new normal will depend on the strict compliance of stakeholders to the said health and safety protocols.

In her virtual press briefing today, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that “The DOT and the DTI shall soon roll out a post-audit mechanism to ensure that all restaurants follow the prescribed standards with non-compliant enterprises facing temporary closure until strict adherence to regulations is accomplished.”

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DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat

Meanwhile, in a bid to reopen the tourism businesses safely within the confines of community quarantined areas, the DOT is working together with the DTI and inclusiontech venture builder Talino Venture Labs to provide free digital solutions for accredited businesses to help them meet the technological demands of the new normal.

The IATF, during the same meeting, has adopted SafePass, an all-digital, contact-free authorizing, scheduling, and contact tracing solution to help businesses operate safely during the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

“We introduce these free digital solutions as part of the government’s support to businesses, especially MSMEs, in their transition to the new normal,” said Puyat. “Here, innovation is key to effectively implement and maintain health and safety protocols in their premises.”

Features of SafePass Express include space planning, registration and health questionnaire, protocol enforcement, and digital incident management.

The technological innovation also reduces the burden of manual data capture through its all-digital and contact-free collection of health information from every tourist or guest, and provides an efficient incident management experience with tools for digital contact tracing.

Another express version of the app called Dine In, which is also free for accredited restaurants, will allow customers to schedule a reservation in a restaurant, following the government’s safe distancing and incident management regulations, book, order, and pay their dine-in orders ahead through an all-digital, contact-free menu.

These applications are powered by inclusiontech venture builder Talino Venture Labs and Amihan Global Strategies, an ASEAN leader in digital transformation.

In a report by Manila Bulletin, dine-in restaurants and fast food establishments in the National Capital Region will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity once Metro Manila enters the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status by June 16.

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DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez

“Dine-in restaurants and fast food establishments need to comply with these health standards to operate. This will be the new normal,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. He also pointed out that buffet and self-service areas for food bars, condiments, and utensils will still be prohibited.

Source: Manila Bulletin (