MANILA, PHILIPPINES — As office workers returned to their usual routines today, it may be worth revisiting the guidelines set by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Although some offices are permitted to open, there are still rules that need to be followed to ensure safety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 1, DOLE set announced some regulations, according to the Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 signed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

“Before entering the workplace, all employers and workers must have face masks, and it must be worn at all times and remove the same only when eating/drinking,” Bello said.

All employees are also required to accomplish daily health symptoms form and undergo temperature checks. Employers shall provide the appropriate face masks for workers.

As a rule, if a worker has a temperature greater than 37.5°C, even after a five-minute rest, or if his response in the questionnaire needs further evaluation by the clinic staff, the person shall be isolated in an area identified by the company and will not be allowed to enter the workplace premises.

Workers are also discouraged to engage in conversation, as well as prolonged face to face interaction with workers and clients. A worker suspected of having COVID-I9 must be brought to the nearest hospital if needed.

The guidelines also suggest that employers should provide shuttle service and/or accommodation to lessen travel, “if feasible.”

“Employers may test workers for COVID-19. Testing kits used and procured shall be the responsibility of the employer,” Bello also said.

See the full release on the DOLE website

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