No Safety Seal, no re-opening for gyms — DTI

Photo courtesy of Navoteno Ako on Facebook

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez on Friday reiterated that although fitness gyms, museums, and other establishments in the National Capital Region (NCR) and neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are already allowed to operate, they must first secure the Safety Seal Certification before they can start accepting clients and guests.

During the “Laging Handa Public Briefing,” Lopez urged business owners, particularly gym owners and operators, to secure the Safety Seal Certification prior to folding up its accordions.

“This is a big help for that particular industry (gym). We are just requesting them to avail the Safety Seal scheme to assure that they are complying with the minimal health protocol, especially to those gyms with indoor activities that have poor ventilation,” he noted.

Lopez particularly urged small gyms to comply with the Safety Seal regulation, as huge gyms and with different branches are presumed compliant with the said scheme.

“Gyms should secure first Safety Seal certification before reopening, but at least the industry are already allowed to reopen. Indoor group classes are as well discouraged for now,” clarified Lopez.

The Safety Seal Certification is a voluntary certification scheme, which affirms that an establishment is compliant with the minimum public health standards set by the government and use or integrate its contact tracing with StaySafe.ph.

The Trade chief added that more than 22,000 gym workers are expected to return to work in more than 2,000 gym establishments that were closed during the re-imposition of the enhanced community quarantine in March, and modified-ECQ in April.

On Friday, Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) that gyms are given the go signal to reopen at 30 percent of their capacity, while historical sites and museums in NCR Plus are at 20 percent venue capacity.

Health Department’s Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, also on Friday, clarified that allowing 65 years old up to go out will be effective 16 June.

“So ang bottom line lang po, pinapayagan po ng ating gobyerno na makalabas na ang ating senior citizens starting June 16 na fully vaccinated, ‘Yun lang po may dalawang doses ng bakuna para dito sa COVID-19. Kayo po ay pinapayagan pero kailangan mag-iingat po kayo,” Vergeire said in a separate briefing.

In the case of 65 years old, fully-vaccinated already allowed to go out, Lopez reminded senior citizens to always bring with them the proof of their vaccination when roaming around in malls and other establishments.

“This is inter-zonal only, meaning they cannot still go out beyond the bubble. They should present their vaccination proof, and the second dose vaccine should be more than two weeks in order for establishments to allow them to enter,” according to Lopez.

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