Desperate and hopeless: Cuenca asks gov't to allow restaurants to reopen, serve only vaccinated customers

Desperate and hopeless: Cuenca asks gov’t to allow restaurants to reopen, serve only vaccinated customers

The past 18 months have been stressful and tragic for the restaurant industry, battered by lockdown restrictions and curfews as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lockdowns are killing the food service sector, putting hundreds or thousands out of business or on the edge of closure.

In an effort to keep the lights on and employ as many staff members as they could, many well-intentioned business owners are trying to do everything in their power to resume in-person dining once more.

With the extended lockdown in Metro Manila until September 7, restaurateur Elbert Cuenca has called on the IATF, Department of Health and local government units to allow fully-vaccinated establishments to reopen and only admit accommodate vaccinated customers.

“This current lockdown has been the hardest for all of us. We are desperate and feeling hopeless at the moment,” said Cuenca, , owner of Elbert’s Steak Room, Elbert’s Diner and Metronome.

Cuenca said allowing restaurants to accept dine-in customers would give the industry a real chance to survive the pandemic.

“Many restaurants that struggled but survived the first two lockdowns recently shuttered because of this third ECQ…Many more will follow,” he pointed out.

Under modified ECQ, indoor and al-fresco dining remain prohibited.

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