IATF approves DOT guidelines on point-to-point air leisure travel from NCR+

Published May 7, 2021, 5:35 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Travelers from National Capital Region (NCR) Plus can soon be allowed to fly to tourist spots under a point-to-point or bubble arrangement.

Passengers show travel documents at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 on May 6, 2021 (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

The proposed guidelines on point-to-point air travel for leisure presented by the Department of Tourism (DOT) have been approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). This form of travel involves direct travel from the point of origin to the destination without any stopovers.

The latest decision on air travel bubble was contained in IATF Resolution No. 114 dated May 6.

“Inaprubahan at in-adopt ng inyong IATF ang guidelines on point-to-point air travel for leisure purposes from the NCR Plus areas of the DOT (The IATF approved and adopted the guidelines on point-to-point air travel for leisure purposes from the NCR Plus areas of the DOT),” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said over state television Friday, May 7.

“‘Antayin po natin at abangan ang mga guidelines ng DOT tungkol dito pero pupuwede na pong pumunta sa mga tourist spots ‘no pero point-to-point po iyan (Let’s wait for the guidelines of the DOT on this. People can go to tourist spots but under a point-to-point travel),” he added.

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, collectively known as NCR Plus, remained under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14 in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Leisure travel is currently prohibited in MECQ areas. The improved health care capacity rate, however, is among the factors reportedly being studied if NCR Plus can deescalate to general community quarantine.

The tourism department earlier proposed allowing hotels and others accommodations establishments in areas under more relaxed community quarantine to accept guests from NCR Plus. Under the proposal, these establishments must be able to provide point-to-point travel arrangements. Visitors will also be asked to follow certain guidelines including having negative swab test results prior to entry to the destination place.