Gyms, fitness centers, internet shops, tutorial and review centers, and grooming services in areas under general community quarantine will be allowed to reopen starting August 1, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Wednesday. The government hopes this will help more businesses reboot while the COVID-19 pandemic rages, he said.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 approved the trade department's recommendation to further loosen curbs on business during a meeting late Tuesday, Lopez told Teleradyo. Later in the week, President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to decide on quarantine classifications for the entire country.
“Desisyon na po ito, pero effective Aug. 1 pa (This is the decision, but it will be effective on Aug. 1),” he said. The establishments and services can only operate up to 30% capacity. Businesses will be required to comply with health protocols and guidelines to ensure the safety of customers and staff, he said.
“Pero don’t worry, katulad naman nung nangyari sa barbershop and dine-in restaurants, after a few weeks, kapag maganda and compliance nila sa health protocol at sumunod po sila don, may allowance tayo na mag-iincrease din ang capacity to 50% (But don’t worry, like what happened with barbershops and dine-in restuarants, after a few weeks, if compliance with health protocols is good and they follow, there is an allowance to increase capacity to 50%),” he said.
Lopez said the IATF would need two to three weeks to evaluate if establishments can shift to a higher operating capacity. Internet cafes and review and tutorial centers will also be allowed to reopen to help students and workers.
“Dahil sa blended learning, e-learning, in-open din ‘yun (Because of blended learning, e-learning, those were opened as well.),” he said.
Personal grooming services, such as manicures, facials, body waxing, and eyebrow threading will also be allowed to resume operations, Lopez told Reportr. Whole body massages remain prohibited.
“Isa pa pong sector na hindi pa natin nabanggit pa, ‘yung mga grooming services, marami po dyan na franchise concept, ay in-allow na rin po. Sa nails, sa skincare, sa aesthetic (Another sector we have yet to mention is that of grooming services, many of which are franchise concept, will be allowed. For nails, skincare, and aesthetic),” Lopez said.