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Canteen Dine-In, Common Smoking Areas Prohibited in MECQ Workplaces

A lonely workplace.
by Joel Guinto
Aug 11, 2020
Photo/s: Agence France-Presse

Those allowed to work during the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine can say goodbye for now to eating in canteens and smoking in common areas after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the trade department's recommendation to ban them for now.

Earlier, pandemic response authorities found that canteens and smoking areas were becoming sources of COVID-19 infections. The 15-day MECQ in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, scheduled until Aug. 18, aims to slow the spread of the disease.

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Companies that can operate under MECQ will be required to have a health protocol officer, and an occupational safety and health protocol committee. Workers should also be trained on the protocols, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

The Department of Trade and Industry also recommended the following: 

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  • shuttle services for workers
  • strict wearing of face masks and face shields in the shuttle
  • no dine-in at canteens; only packed meals and food delivery
  • no common smoking areas; only individual smoking areas or booths in open spaces are allowed
  • observance of minimum standards: physical distancing and face masks.
  • frequent handwashing and disinfection in the workplace
  • temperature checks for employees and office visitors.
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