Eating Out-of-Home in the Time of COVID-19

Around 4 out of 10 Filipino adults 19 to 59 years old are out-of-home eaters.

This is according to the food consumption component of the 8th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) in 2013 by the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).

Additional data from the DOST-FNRI Food Establishments Survey (FES), a component of the Local Level Food, Health and Nutrition Survey (LFHNS) conducted from 2016 to 2017, also revealed that majority of these adults were younger adults 19 to 29 years old who mostly belong to the workforce.

In mid-March of 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte imposed an Enhanced Community Quarantine over the entire Luzon, including the National Capital Region (NCR), leaving most employees with no other choice but to work from home.

The Telegraph (UK) even dubbed the Philippines as the country with the longest lockdown, as restrictions are enforced until now.

Prolonged challenges and risks linked to COVID-19 has been causing pandemic fatigue for many people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Indeed, eating out-of-home has affected not only those who are fond of going out, but also business establishments.

Today, only partial lockdowns based on the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) are implemented across the country.

As previous stringent restrictions are gradually eased, the number of people who are eating out-of-home to beat the pandemic fatigue is dramatically increasing.

However, with the rise in the number of individuals eating out-of-home, there is also a possibility for COVID-19 cases to increase.

Thus, minimum public health standards and protocols should still be observed when going outside of our homes.

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