Heeding the call of frontliners for a "timeout," President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal back on Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) for a 15-day period: August 4 to 18. ICYDK, MECQ is the second highest level in the country's four-step quarantine system so far.
In line with this shift, and with the Philippines' COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, the government is preparing to set up more checkpoints at the boundaries of towns and cities within NCR, Bulacan, Laguna, and Cavite. According to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, quarantine passes will be required again, with only one person per household allowed to buy essentials like food and medicine.
But what does this mean for businesses, particularly restaurants and other food-related services?
Under MECQ, essential businesses and services are allowed to operate on limited capacity—including malls and shopping centers. For restaurants, this means takeout and delivery options are allowed, but dine-in isn't.
Non-essential services and activities—such as gyms, cinemas, salons, and karaoke bars—are not allowed to open.