Gyms, internet cafes allowed to partially reopen in GCQ areas by August

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 29) — More businesses located in areas under general community quarantine will be allowed to partially reopen starting August 1.

Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday said review centers, gyms, sports facilities, and internet shops can gradually reopen starting at 30 percent capacity. Personal grooming services (except for full body massages), aesthetic services, and pet grooming shops in GCQ areas will also be allowed to reopen while strictly observing minimum health protocols.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said internet shops will be allowed to serve customers so students can have online access as schools shift to blended forms of learning.

"Bawal ang gaming. Doon lang sa work and educational purpose," he told CNN Philippines.

[Translation: Internet shops cannot be used for gaming. It's only allowed for work or school.]

Review centers can only accommodate a maximum of 10 seats inside a room. Other minimum health standards that will be observed in these centers include wearing of face mask inside the room, more than one-meter distance between chairs, and frequent sanitation of rooms.

The Trade Chief said the IATF also approved his proposal to allow drive-through cinemas in GCQ areas as theaters remain closed in these places.

Lopez said they are planning to increase the operations of these industries up to 50 percent capacity within three weeks.

Meanwhile, for areas under modified general community quarantine, IATF also allowed businesses offering full body massage; tattoo and body piercing; and language, driving, dance, acting, voice lessons to resume.

Live events will also be allowed in MGCQ areas. Libraries, archives, museums and cultural centers, and tourist destinations can also reopen.

IATF reiterates cockfighting and operation of cockpits, beer houses, and similar establishments primarily serving liquor, and amusement industries remain prohibited under any form of community quarantine.

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce on Thursday new community quarantine classifications for August 1 onwards.