In addition to public transport drivers and workers, employees of air-conditioned and poorly ventilated facilities that are allowed to work under general quarantine (GCQ) now have to wear face masks as well as air purifiers. The facilities, however, are obliged to install a highly efficient particle air filter (Hepa) and an ionizer and to sterilize their premises with ultraviolet germicidal light after business hours.

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The province of Cebu is subject to the regular GCQ until September 30, 2021, based on Executive Order (EO) 41-2021, which Governor Gwendolyn Garcia signed on Tuesday, September 7th, to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of emerging infectious diseases and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte. During her online press conference on Tuesday evening, Garcia said she needed air purifiers for workers as they are often exposed to other people and need protection from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). She stressed that she was not making any money with this policy. “I don’t sell (air purifiers). I’m not a seller, but I do order personal air purifiers at the best price and quality, ”said Garcia. The Mayor of Moalboal, Paz Rozgoni, and the Mayor of Asturias, Antonio Pinto, supported this new policy. Rozgoni said she has made the same demands on resort employees since 2020. For his part, the use of portable air purifiers is not recommended by the Department of Health (DOH) and is not included in the Philippine Covid-19 Living Clinical Practice Guidelines Installing UV lights will add an additional burden to small business owners. He suggested that this requirement be imposed only on those who can afford it. “SMEs are already heavily in debt and all of their savings have been used to run and keep going,” said Calooy. Other highlights of Garcia’s new EO include: – Restaurants and other dining options can operate at 50 percent of the event capacity, while outdoor restaurants are 100 percent full. – Facilities that offer personal care services, such as salons and spas, may also be operated, but only at 50 percent occupancy – All facilities may be operated with 50 percent occupancy – Entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke, bars and cinemas as well as leisure facilities such as Internet cafes and billiard halls may not be used. – Curfew will be imposed from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. throughout the province. Meanwhile, Garcia said she could give another set of vitamins to drivers and conductors because the ones she handed out were only good for a month. (MVE, JOB)

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