Business

94% of businesses reopen under GCQ — DTI

94% of businesses reopen under GCQ — DTI

MANILA, Philippines — Only 6% of businesses have remained closed in areas under general community quarantine, including Metro Manila, firms which the government said can open as soon as a further easing of movement restrictions is enforced.

“Under GCQ, practically almost all, 94% of businesses are essentially back. Of course, some of those are under 50% capacity, but mostly open, across all sectors,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a briefing in Malacañang. 

The balance that remain shuttered, he said, would be allowed to operate at 50% capacity once areas under GCQ move to looser quarantine controls under modified GCQ (MGCQ). Apart from the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas as well as the cities of Zamboanga, Davao, Cebu and Mandaue remain under the GCQ regime that started June 1.

The rest of the archipelago are placed under MGCQ. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque changes in quarantine levels may be announced June 15. Under the government's guidelines, the extent of restrictions vary from the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), modified ECQ, GCQ, to the most relaxed modified GCQ.

Gyms, pet shops, cinemas poised for restart

Under MGCQ, Lopez said establishments such as kids amusement centers, libraries, museums, resorts, travel agencies and water parks can accommodate clients up to half of their typical capacity.

Pet shops, including those for grooming services, and internet and computer shops may also operate subject to customer limitations. Cinemas and other forms of entertainment may also resume to a limited number of audiences showing under MGCQ.

More sports activities would also be allowed as gyms and fitness centers open under a relaxed quarantine regime. However, contact sports such as boxing are still prohibited, Lopez said.

All establishments are still required to adjust to the so-called “minimum health standards” when reopening. These standards include frequent sanitation and disinfection, personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves for their employees, as well as testing for possible coronavirus infection, all to be shouldered by employers.

Once restrictions are further eased under MGCQ, barbershops and salons, which already reopened last June 7, will also be allowed to offer their other pampering services such as manicure, pedicure as well as hair shaving. Currently, these establishments are only permitted to offer typical haircut services to their customers.

“For now, for the safety of everyone, we allowed basic services like haircuts only because the intention is for faster turnover of customers, so that customers do not stay inside the establishments for too long, hence, there is less possible exposure to the disease,” Lopez explained in Filipino.

“A little bit more sacrifice for those areas under GCQ and all other services will soon be available,” he added.