DOT welcomes Aklan LGU move to waive RT-PCR test for fully-vaxxed tourists

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2021   •   224

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday welcomed the measure of the Aklan local government unit (LGU) to no longer require confirmatory swab tests for fully vaccinated tourists visiting Boracay Island starting next week.

“The DOT welcomes the announcement of Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores on the decision to waive the RT-PCR test for fully vaccinated tourists as a requirement to enter Boracay starting November 16,” the DOT said in a statement.

Miraflores made the announcement Friday. However, he stressed that guests will still need to present proof of vaccination upon their arrival on the island.

Visitors to Boracay need to show their vaccination card with a QR code from the issuing LGU or a vaccination certificate from the VaxCertPH under DICT website.

Miraflores also underscored that unvaccinated individuals or those who only received one-dose of a two-shot regime still need to present a negative swab test result.

The easing of restrictions comes after over 94% of tourism workers in the island have completed their vaccine doses against COVID-19.

The DOT noted that in the last two months, Boracay experienced a “dramatic increase” of tourist arrivals, with a total of 32,452 visitors in October.

“We hope to see even more visitors for the months of November and December, given this positive development, and ensure everyone’s safety altogether now that Boracay’s fully vaxxed tourism workers are at 94%, while it’s entire eligible population is at 70% vaccinated,” the department said.

 

Swab test sa mga turista, muling ipatutupad sa Boracay Island

Robie de Guzman   •   January 6, 2022

Muling ipatutupad ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Aklan ang negative RT-PCR testing bilang requirement sa lahat ng mga bibisita sa Boracay Island.

Epektibo ito simula sa araw ng Linggo, Enero 9.

Sakop ng polisiya ang ang lahat ng bisita, bakunado man o hindi kontra COVID-19.

Ang RT-PCR test requirement ay muling ipapatupad sa gitna ng dumarami na namang kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

Noong nakaraang taon ay inalis ang nasabing requirement para sa mga bisita dahil sa pagbaba ng kaso ng COVID-19 at pagtaas ng bilang ng mga nababakunahan.

DOT suspends, fines hotel in ‘Poblacion Girl’ fiasco

Maris Federez   •   January 5, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has suspended the accreditation of a Makati hotel and revoked its permit as a multiple-use hotel amid the “Poblacion Girl” debacle.

In a statement, the DOT said the Berjaya Hotel Makati is suspended “for its failure to stop a guest from breaking quarantine rules, leaving the premises to party, and only to return a few days later to test positive for Covid-19” which resulted in her having infected at least 12 others.

The DOT said that it also fined Berjaya Hotel Makati an equivalent to twice the rack rate of its most expensive room.

The Department’s Tourism Regulation, Coordination, and Resource Generation approved the penalties recommended by the DOT- National Capital Region, the statement said.

Berjaya Hotel has 15 working days to appeal the DOT decision.

Copy of the department’s decision has also been given to the Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ),  One-Stop-Shop-Management of Returning Overseas Filipino of the Department of Transportation -Office of Transportation Security (DOTr- OTS), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Makati local government unit (LGU).

The DOT said that while Berjaya Hotel assured the department that their guests follow strict protocols, it later apologized in news reports and social media for its failure to report the “quarantine skipping incident” to the BOQ.

The statements made by the hotel management and its public apology were “an admission of not just the facts of the incident but as well as their lapses in their responsibility as an accredited establishment of the Department of Tourism,” the decision said.

This case stemmed from the actions of returning Filipino Gwyneth Chua, identified in social media as “Poblacion Girl” because she was seen in Poblacion, Makati City when she was supposed to be in the quarantine hotel.

Chua arrived in the country on December 22 and checked in at Berjaya Hotel at around 11:30 pm. A CCTV footage showed her leaving the hotel at 11:45 pm and was later on seen on social media partying in a bar in Poblacion. —/mbmf

PNP to conduct random inspections in quarantine hotels

Maris Federez   •   January 4, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct random visits in quarantine hotels.

According to DILG spokesperson Usec. Jonathan Malaya said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año ordered the PNP to conduct random checks in quarantine hotels because the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) lack the manpower to guard the 150 accredited quarantine hotels in the country including the 6 to 8 facilities in Metro Manila.

“Siya po ay nagbigay din po ng direktiba na bisitahin o magkaroon ng random visit sa iba’t ibang quarantine hotels sa buong bansa ang PNP.

During random inspections, the police will ask for the list of those who should be at a quarantine hotel through the BOQ.

If that person is not there, he or she will be immediately investigated and cases will be filed against that person, and also those who are involved in the quarantine breach.

Meanwhile, several contacts of the COVID-19 positive returning overseas Filipino who skipped quarantine after returning home from the United States of America have also been infected with coronavirus disease, Malaya said.

However, it is still unknown what coronavirus variant hit the quarantine violator.

Also, based on the initial investigation of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the hotel wherein the balikbayan was supposed to quarantine is responsible for the quarantine breach.

“Duon po sa kaniyang close contacts na 15, 7 na po ang nagpositibo sa COVID-19. While dun naman po sa 19 secondary contacts niya, ay isa na po ang nagpositibo,” Malaya said.

“So talaga pong naging superspreader event yung paglabas pasok nitong Poblacion Girl sa kaniyang quarantine hotel,” he added. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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