DOT: Museums in NCR Plus to reopen on limited capacity

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 11, 2021   •   353

MANILA, Philippines—Museums in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus areas will be allowed to open on a limited capacity, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on Friday (June 11).

Tourism sites in the NCR Plus will be allowed to accommodate 20% of its total capacity and is subjected to the health and safety restrictions implemented by the DOT and local government unit (LGU), based on the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). Guided tours will remain prohibited.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said this would help bring back employment.

“Our historical sites and museums in the NCR Plus Area may welcome visitors following the easing of quarantine restrictions. This is part of our efforts to restart tourism and leisure activities in a safe and steady manner, and to help bring back employment,” she said.

Puyat also said that the reopening of historical sites and museums is good timing as it coincides with the country’s observance of Independence Day.

“Revisiting our past brings us closer together as a people and draws us closer to a future free of the perils and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic,” she said.

The IATF approval covers historical sites and museums in the NCR Plus, which covers Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna, and which is currently under a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with restrictions. AAC

DOT clarifies travel guidelines in areas under Alert Level 4

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Tourism (DOT) has clarified that residents in the National Capital Region who are below 18 and over 65 years old shall not be permitted to leave their residences for leisure travel following Alert Level 4 guidelines.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, in a statement, said that travelers will also be subject to reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities as may be determined by their respective local government unit (LGU) and the reasonable regulations of their destination’s LGU.

The tourism chief also reminded all tourism-related establishments in the NCR, such as Staycations, indoor visitor or tourist attractions, and indoor venues for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) are prohibited under Alert level 4 as per IATF ruling.

The National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under the Alert Level 4 classification from September 16-30.

Meanwhile, Puyat noted that the high inoculation rate among tourism workers from hotels will make dining in their restaurants safer.

“The good news is that 99 percent of tourism workers employed in hotels across Metro Manila have been vaccinated. All in all, tourism workers in NCR, including those in DOT-accredited restaurants recorded a 94 percent vaccination rate. This is an added assurance, not only to the safety of our guests but our tourism workers as well,” said Puyat.

The official added that under the current guidelines, outdoor or alfresco dine-in will be allowed at 30 percent venue capacity while indoor dine-in will be allowed at 10 percent only for fully-vaccinated individuals.

“Allowing fully vaccinated guests to dine in restaurants located inside DOT-accredited hotels and restaurants will slowly help restart the economy while making sure all our tourism workers and guests are safe,” she said. -AAC

DOT reminds hotels, resorts: Room sharing for quarantined families is allowed

Marje Pelayo   •   July 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) reminded accredited hotels and resorts operating as quarantine hotels, to allow room sharing for quarantined families.

DOT explained there are certain individuals belonging to the same household traveling together so they may be allowed to stay in the same room especially families with minors.

“We have received reports that some DOT-Accredited Accommodation Establishments operating as Quarantine Hotels have been implementing a one-room-one-person policy even for travelers coming from the same household,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said on Wednesday (July 21).

“While the Department is aware of the downturns that the pandemic brought to the tourism industry, particularly the accommodation sector, we would like to reiterate that all DOT-accredited establishments must strictly follow the guidelines released by the Department to avoid confusion among travelers who need to quarantine,” she added.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has confirmed the need to comply with the DOT Administrative Order that allows certain individuals under mandatory quarantine to stay in the same room.

Such Administrative Order was issued with the approval of the Department of Health (DOH) and Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

“We all share the same struggles but it is imperative that we implement the right policies to help our kababayans who want to return to the country,” added the tourism chief.

DOT Administrative Order No. 2021-004-A, single occupancy is required for quarantine guests from different households.

However, room sharing is encouraged for quarantine guests belonging to the same household and guests requiring a companion, such as minors, PWDs or senior citizens, or as may be prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH) or the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

DOT begins vaccination of 3,000 tourism personnel in Boracay island

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday (July 7) began vaccinating tourism personnel in Boracay island.

Around 3,000 tourism personnel in Malay, Aklan working in hotels, restaurants, and other tourism frontline personnel were vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, vaccinating tourism frontline personnel would encourage tourists to visit Boracay and also ensure the safety of everyone visiting the island.

“We hope that ang ating tourism frontliners ang mapapabakunahan kasi the nature of the job is face to face, as much as we want it online, hindi kayang hindi online especially the waiters,” she said.

(We hope that our tourism frontliners will be vaccinated because the nature of the job is face to face, as much as we want it online, we cannot, especially for waiters.)

“We hope to be able to vaccinate the whole of Boracay but we’ve also started the in Bohol,” she added.

Puyat said they are asking other tourism destinations to also vaccinate frontline personnel.

Meanwhile, Aklan Province assured that vaccination rollout is ready once they received vaccine supplies. The local government, however, will still retain the RT-PCR test requirement for tourists.

“We had a meeting with the provincial IATF and these new guidelines giving fully vaccinated persons to do an inter-zonal travel here in the province of Aklan we decided to just retain in the meantime that all tourist all arrival in the province of Boracay should still present their RT-PCR test until such time that we can make a system of validating these vaccination cards,” according to Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores. AAC (with reports from Marvin Calas)

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