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Concepcion pushes for higher restaurant capacity

/ 05:32 AM September 19, 2021

REOPENING AN UPENDED WORLD A Marikina City restaurant offering some visual mischief on its menu — a dining set mounted upside down from the ceiling — prepares to welcome the return of dine-in customers on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, though still at a limited capacity, after being shuttered for months due to community quarantine restrictions. (Photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion is hoping more vaccinated customers will soon be allowed in dine-in restaurants and indoor personal care establishments if the initial implementation of the alert level system goes smoothly.

Metro Manila is currently on alert level 4, which means that indoor operations of restaurants and personal care establishments will be limited to 10 percent of the venue’s capacity and can only cater to customers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Concepcion agreed with restaurant owners’ concern that the 10-percent capacity for dine-in services was too low, but he said this could be increased later on.

Some owners have said that earnings from a 10-percent indoor capacity might not be enough to keep them afloat.

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“Yes, that is too low, but that is OK if we do it for one week or two weeks and then we could increase it. Restaurants at 10-percent [operational capacity] would really be on the losing end. But they are doing this to see if it is OK and many customers who are entering show their vaccination cards,” Concepcion said at an online briefing.

He said the system had to be tested and any problems that might arise would be ironed out in the initial phase.

Concepcion hopes the indoor operation capacity will be increased soon.

“Baby steps have to be taken here so, hopefully, it will be increased. If everything goes smoothly, it will be increased to 20 percent and, eventually, 30 percent,” he said.

He said it was good to try out the new system, which could be a step toward the safe reopening of the economy.

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TAGS: COVID-19 pandemic, Joey Concepcion, quarantine restaurant capacity
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