The Health Services Office (HSO) has issued meal break guidelines as a measure to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.
In a social media post on May 19, the HSO said lunch breaks must be staggered when possible to limit the number of people in pantries.
Dr. Rowena Galpo, HSO chief, said it is during meal time that people put down their guards – removing their masks to eat and using meal breaks to chat with friends and colleagues.
She said alternative areas for lunch breaks should be considered where social distancing could be observed, like at an employee’s workstation, in meeting rooms, and other areas where masks can be taken off without the risk of getting close to other people.
“Do not sit near one another, avoid talking or making a conversation,” the doctor said.
Companies must also provide supplies of alcohol and tissue in their workplaces at all times, she said.
Face masks and shields that are not worn must be placed in a paper bag or on top of a clean tissue paper to minimize contamination with other items and persons, Galpo said.
She encouraged workers to bring their own food and observe a “clean as you go, disinfect after eating” policy.
Galpo said bringing of personal utensils, including a drinking glass, is also encouraged to avoid sharing utensils.
She also reiterated the importance of constantly washing hands before and after eating.
Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, Mayor Benjamin Magalong has repeatedly discouraged employees of the city government from eating together and told them to have meal breaks at their own work tables while observing the one-meter distance rule. – PNA