Sector-Specific Public Health Standards for Indoor and Outdoor Dine-In Services

Consistent with the minimum public health standards prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH) under Administrative Order No. 2021-00431 and DTI-DOLE Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2020-04-A2, owners or designated safety officers of all establishments covered by this Circular are required to implement and maintain the following sector-specific public health standards:

Physical Set-Up Controls
  1. For indoor dining, install table top clear dividers made of acrylic or any similar transparent material to prevent droplet transmission in face-to-face seating arrangements.

  2. For outdoor dining, implement an alternate/diagonal seating arrangement if table top clear dividers are not installed.

  3. Ensure adequate air exchange in enclosed areas through the implementation of strategies as cited in DOLE Department Order No. 224-21,3 such as:
    1. Maximizing natural ventilation through opening of windows;
    2. Use of low-cost modifications to improve air flow (e.g. addition of fans or exhaust fans);
    3. Identification of multi-occupant spaces that are used regularly and are poorly ventilated. Air flow shall be controlled to ensure indoor CO2 concentrations be maintained at-or below 1,000 parts per million (ppm); and
    4. Installation and regular maintenance of exhaust fans and air filtration devices with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters.

  4. Install any of the following hand hygiene and sanitation facilities and supplies:
    1. Hand washing station or sink with adequate and safe water supply;
    2. Soap and water or 70% Isopropyl (or Ethyl) Alcohol; and Hands-free trash receptacles, soap and towel dispensers, door openers, and other similar hands-free equipment.
      The use of foot baths, disinfection tents, misting chambers, or sanitation booths are not recommended.
  5. Maintain physical distancing by ensuring table and seats spacing, using unidirectional markers in queuing areas, and reducing seating capacity in accordance with the prevailing alert level system where the Food Establishment is located.
    1. Chairs shall be distanced at least one (1) meter on all sides.
    2. Queueing area shall comply with the one (1) meter distance on all sides requirement.

  6. Establish a screening area at the point/s-of-entry. The following protocols must be implemented thereat:
    1. Health declaration or symptom assessment through the use of the application, or any national and certified contact tracing application integrated with the same, in the conduct of contact tracing activities. Those with symptoms or exposure to probable, suspect, and confirmed COVID-19 cases, regardless of vaccination status, shall not be allowed entry.
    2. All personnel, suppliers, and customers must undergo a non-contact temperature check. Those with a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees centigrade shall not be allowed entry.
    3. Indoor dine-in services in areas where they are allowed to operate shall cater only to fully vaccinated individuals with no COVID-19 symptoms, subject to presentation of a COVID-19 vaccination card.*

  7. Implement a Buffet Service only under the following conditions:
    1. Food servers will serve the food;
    2. All food trays are with food covers; and
    3. Food is maintained at recommended safe temperatures (e.g. use of warming trays, ice, etc.).

  8. Install visual cues or signages to communicate the following:
    1. Maintaining physical distancing of at least one (1) meter distance between customers;
    2. Cough and sneeze etiquette;
    3. Proper hand hygiene and infection control;
    4. Proper use and disposal of Personal Protective Equipment; and
    5. Other critical reminders in the Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, Reintegrate (PDITR+) strategy and BIDA Solusyon, and Resbakuna for the promotion of the Government Vaccination Program.

  9. Provide a proper facility for proper storage, collection, treatment, and disposal of used PPE and other infectious waste in accordance with DOH AO 2021-0043.

  10. Ensure that music volume is kept to a minimum to discourage loud talking, which increases the likelihood of droplet transmission.

  11. Prohibit the use of play areas or playgrounds.

  12. Disallow the use of self-service stations like do-it-yourself customer refill and condiment stations.

    *updated per revised IATF guidelines

Administrative Controls
  1. Ensure adequate provision of personal protective equipment to all employees, regardless of employment status, which includes:
    1. Cloth or surgical masks, or face shields, as necessary; and
    2. Gloves and other appropriate PPE for all personnel tasked to do regular cleaning and disinfection of chairs, tables, or other furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

  2. Enforce limits on on-site capacity in accordance with the latest guidelines set by the national government or limitations on venue/seating capacity or other prohibitions as may be imposed by the Local Government Unit (LGU).

  3. Permit individuals from the same household to dine together in one table, provided that they show proof of the same address; and provided, further that their table/s shall be distanced by by at least one (1) meter from other customers’ tables.
  4. Remind customers that face masks may only be removed while eating or drinking.

  5. Maximize the use of online or mobile platforms for rendering services.

  6. As far as practicable, utilize single-use or QR-based menus and contactless ordertaking.

  7. Utilize digital modes of payment or provide small trays for cash payment to avoid physical contact between personnel and customers.

  8. Disinfect premises in accordance with DOH Department Memorandum No. 2020-0157, its amendments and Cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces in the context of COVID-19 by the WHO. For this purpose, all furniture, fixtures, and equipment, including those inside the kitchen, food preparation, dining areas, and restrooms must be properly and regularly sanitized (e.g. after every use for tables and chairs).
Additional Protocols
  1. All designated smoking areas (DSAs) shall comply with the specifications indicated in Executive Order No. 26, Series of 2017.

  2. The limits on maximum servings of alcoholic beverages shall remain subject to the corresponding local government guidelines.