By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora May 28, 2021, 8:13 pm PNA
MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday welcomed the pandemic task force's decision to allow accredited accommodation establishments in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) to book leisure stays at 30 percent venue capacity.
The DOT said the move would bring back significant revenues, especially to small hotels and private resorts in GCQ areas in the homestretch of the summer season.
"We welcome the IATF's (Inter-Agency Task Force) decision to allow DOT-accredited Accommodation Establishments (AEs) in GCQ areas to accept guests for leisure. This will contribute to the return of livelihood and jobs that were lost during the pandemic," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
In all cases, age restrictions are still in place and only guests aged 18 years to 65 years will be allowed to check in.
“We would have wanted to allow guests of all ages to be accommodated, knowing that when Filipinos go on vacation, we travel as a family. However, in every decision concerning the safe resumption of tourism during this pandemic, the DOT always puts premium on what our health experts recommend," Puyat added.
The IATF for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), through Resolution 117, approved the DOT's request to allow its accredited AEs in GCQ areas to accept leisure guests.
AEs were previously prohibited from accommodating guests for leisure purposes, except those that have been issued a Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycation.
Under the new policy, hotels and resorts may now do so provided they are from the same household.
In areas under modified GCQ, AEs may accommodate leisure guests without the same-household requirement and without restriction as to the venue capacity, provided that minimum public health standards are observed.
"While we understand that strict health and safety protocols need to remain in place, DOT is happy with this development. We continue to issue the reminder that the safety of guests, residents and host communities should never be compromised," Puyat said.
The IATF-EID resolution also allowed all staycation hotels accredited by the DOT to do away with the Covid-19 test requirement following the recommendation of health experts that "strict symptoms screening and observance of minimum public health standards are sufficient measures for staycation guests."
She reiterated that isolation or quarantine hotels are not allowed to accommodate leisure or staycation guests.
The IATF resolution likewise states that local government units with jurisdiction over the AEs shall strictly monitor their compliance with minimum public health standards. (PNA)