DOT hails removal of age restrictions on leisure travels

Published June 1, 2021, 1:50 PM

by Betheena Unite

The domestic tourism industry has taken another step toward its eventual recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat welcomed on Tuesday, June 1, the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to allow leisure travel leisure for all ages within the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus bubble, with some restrictions.

“On behalf of the DOT, I thank our colleagues in the IATF for this development. Allowing leisure travel for all ages from the NCR-plus bubble to MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) areas will surely help local tourism [get] back on track towards recovery,” Puyat said.

“We are looking forward to once again see our tourism destinations welcome tourists from the NCR-plus area. Of course, this has to be done with utmost precaution. The DOT shall continue to strengthen its coordination with our LGUs (local government unit) to ensure the strict compliance of health and safety protocols,” Puyat added.

Under Resolution No. 118A, leisure travel to and from the NCR-plus bubble from June 1 to 15, 2021 to areas under MGCQ will be allowed. Travelers below 18 and above 65 years old, however, shall be subject to an RT-PCR test-before-travel requirement.

This will also cover commercial flights, the tourism secretary said.

Travelers aged 18 to 65 years old will still have to present a negative RT-PCR test result if required by the local government unit (LGU) of destination, like the case of Boracay Island.

Allowed travels shall also be point-to-point only, which means that while stopovers are allowed for eating and personal necessities, no side trips shall be made to other tourism destinations.

“We continue to count on travelers to comply with minimum health protocols. I know our kababayans have been wanting to go out and enjoy during the summertime, but let us practice responsibility to protect ourselves and the communities in your chosen destinations,” Puyat said.

NCR-plus covers Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.