This website requires JavaScript.

Gov’t Studying Reopening Of Spas, Cinemas, Arcades

Gov’t Studying Reopening Of Spas, Cinemas, Arcades
Photo taken on Oct. 14, 2020 by The Philippine STAR’s Miguel de Guzman shows workers disinfecting a cinema in Taytay, Rizal following the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Emerging Infectious Diseases to allow movie houses in areas under modified general community quarantine to reopen at 50% capacity last year. Health and safety protocols like social distancing, wearing of face masks and face shields must be observed.

The government is considering allowing other personal care service establishments to reopen under Alert Level 4, to help bring back more jobs, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

Since allowing the reopening of some businesses and raising the allowed capacities for some sectors by 10% under Alert Level 4 in Metro Manila, the DTI said close to 600,000 jobs have been restored.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said during the “Laging Handa” public briefing on Thursday, Oct. 7, that the government is looking at allowing the reopening of other activities, including those establishments that offer therapeutic massage services which employ many workers.

Currently, Alert Level 4 allows only the following personal care service establishments to operate: barbershops, beauty salons, hair spas and nail spas. These are allowed to operate at 20% indoor capacity for fully vaccinated workers and guests, and at 30% capacity for outdoor operations for customers regardless of their vaccination status.

Dine-in restaurants are also allowed in Alert Level 4 at 20% capacity for indoor operations provided that all workers and customers are fully vaccinated, and at 30% capacity for outdoors where all employees have received complete COVID-19 vaccine shots.

For gyms, the allowed operating capacity in Alert Level 4 is at 20%, provided that all workers and clients are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, are wearing masks at all times, no group activities are conducted, and a four meter distancing is observed.

Establishments which have safety seals and are allowed to open under Alert Level 4, can get an additional 10 percentage points on top of the prescribed operational capacity set by the government.

Lopez said also being considered for reopening under Alert Level 3 are cinemas and arcades.

“With respect to helping the economy, it is a big help that we changed guidelines and increased levels of operating capacity. We believe we were able to bring more people to work,” he said, noting that the number of jobs restored has reached close to 600,000 or three times the 200,000 estimate when Metro Manila just started to be under Alert Level 4.

On the calls to have a shorter quarantine period for arriving vaccinated travelers, he said this is expected to help not just ease operations of quarantine facilities and reduce costs for those affected, but will also be beneficial for investors that want to come to the Philippines.

He said many foreign investors are discouraged when they hear of the 10 to 14-day quarantine period in the country.

“If this is reduced, many will be happy, especially visiting investors who want to study our country for their investment plans,” he said.