Yesterday, around 100 individuals were arrested in a bar in Salcedo Village in Makati for allegedly drinking liquor and violating social distancing protocols. Among those arrested is TV host and actor KC Montero.
In a report released today, the Makati City Police said they received reports that a bar had several customers drinking and dining despite the fact that Makati City is still under general community quarantine. According to a report by Inquirer, the police arrested both Filipino citizens and foreign nationals at the bar, brought them to the Makati City Police Station and charged them for alleged violation of Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.
ABS-CBN News reports that Montero and his wife were only there for dinner, saying, “That place was open before so parang feeling ko, okay. Why were they open if they’re not allowed to open? Maybe that’s my fault, I didn’t do my research. So feeling ko, they’re allowed to be open. So I went.”
As much as everyone wants to go out of their homes after almost four months of being cooped up, the general community quarantine (GCQ) implemented in Metro Manila still prohibits restaurants from operating in full capacity. Bars aren’t allowed to operate at all.
While the bar has said that it has been operating as a restaurant with reduced capacity, it’s still important for them to strictly comply with quarantine guidelines. Restaurant operators who are opening up for dine-in are responsible for the disinfection of their establishment, policing the number of people inside the establishment at a time to ensure social distancing and to provide clear acrylic barriers between customers.
While a restaurant is responsible for making sure that their establishment complies with GCQ guidelines it doesn’t mean that the customer no longer has any responsibility.
Restaurant-goers have to do their part in making sure that their dining experience is safe for them and the restaurant staff—this means making sure that they’re only going out for essential activities and if they really want to go out, they have to wear face masks and observe social distancing.
The current number of active COVID-19 cases in the Philippines is more than 36,000. In fact, WHO recently declared that our country has the fastest rise in coronavirus cases in the Western Pacific region. With no plans for mass testing or any kind of health-oriented solutions from the government, it would do well for people of influence to do their research about health risks, to follow quarantine guidelines and to do their best to be a good example for those who are looking up to them for guidance during the pandemic.
Photo from Inquirer.net
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