THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) said malls and restaurants are recording foot traffic of about 50-80% of pre-pandemic levels following the further easing of quarantine protocols in Metro Manila.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a Laging Handa briefing Thursday that he has received positive feedback from restaurants, malls, and fast-food chains in terms of crowd levels.

“During the last weekend, some of the establishments were saying that a crowd percentage ranging from 50% to 80% versus pre-pandemic levels have been observed,” Mr. Lopez said.

“The feedback is positive. It is just the first weekend. Hopefully, the people will get used to this, since this is like moving towards the new normal,” he added.

Mr. Lopez also reminded establishments to be responsible in implementing minimum health protocols, adding that they need to appoint full-time safety and health protocol officers.

He said the officer will be in charge of ensuring that customers and workers comply with minimum health standards.

“We are counting on the responsibility of each establishment so minimum health protocols will always be observed,” Mr. Lopez said.

Metro Manila was downgraded to Alert Level 2 between Nov. 5 and 21. Under the new alert setting, restaurants, personal care establishments, and fitness studios can now operate at 50% indoor capacity for fully vaccinated persons.

Alert Level 2 in Metro Manila also allows the operation of cinemas, theme parks, libraries, museums, and other tourist attractions. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave