DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 July) – Bars and other entertainment venues in the city may reopen but they are still prohibited from serving alcoholic beverages, Mayor Sara Duterte said on Wednesday.
Duterte made the announcement in an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) following the shift to a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) which means an easing of restrictions on the movement and activities of people.
“How can we go to the bar without drinking alcohol? Just try it first and let us see,” she said.
She added that more than alcohol, it is being in the company of friends that matters.
The mayor imposed a ban on liquor on April 6, to minimize the possibility of transmitting Covid-19 during drinking sessions.
The establishments are allowed to accept customers at “25 percent of the venue/room capacity, with strict disinfection every after customer use,” according to the guidelines released by the city government.
It added the alcohol ban would be subject to review on July 15.
Duterte said facemasks must be worn at all times inside these establishments, except when eating or drinking.
The mayor said they have seen conflicting provisions in the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, updated as of June 25, with respect to allowing establishments under category 4 to reopen at 50 percent capacity on the one hand and prohibiting “leisure, amusement or entertainment” activities on the other hand.
She, however, said that the local government resolved in favor of business establishments by allowing them to reopen at least 25 percent of their seating capacity.
She said the 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is still in effect.
“These leisure and entertainment (establishments) usually operate at night because these are after work activities,” she said.
President Duterte placed Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and Davao de Oro under MGCQ and Davao Occidental and Davao Oriental under a low-risk MGCQ from July 1 to 15.
As of July 1, the Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 565 Covid19 cases in the region: 435 in Davao City, 50 in Davao del Norte, 21 in Davao del Sur, 31 in Davao de Oro, 24 in Davao Oriental and four in Davao Occidental. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)