Historical sites, museums open at limited capacity in NCR+

Published June 11, 2021, 10:51 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The government’s pandemic task force has allowed the limited operations of historical sites and museums in the National Capital Region-plus (NCR-plus) bubble area, Malacañang said Friday.

National Museum (Facebook)

In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has allowed these establishment to resume operations at 20 percent venue capacity subject to safety protocols.

He, however, said it will also be upon the approval of the local government unit where these tourism sites may be situated.

Roque added that guided tours in these historical sites and museums remain prohibited.

Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits have been prohibited in NCR-plus since the area went to strict quarantine due to the spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in March. Before this, the IATF had actually allowed the resumption of these establishments at up to 50 percent capacity under general community quarantine (GCQ) and 75 percent under modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Outdoor tourist attractions, on the other hand, were allowed to accommodate up to 30 percent of the venue’s capacity subject to minimum health standards.

Last week, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar encouraged the public to “rediscover the Philippines,” saying the tourism industry plays a huge role in keeping the country’s economy rolling.

To make this possible amid a global health crisis, Andanar said it was necessary for the government to keep in touch with tourism stakeholders.

“Kailangan ng close coordination at kooperasyon ng lahat ng mga tourism industry stakeholders upang mapanatili ang public health and safety (The tourism industry stakeholders should have a close coordination and coordination to maintain public health and safety),” he added.

This month, the IATF has eased domestic travel restrictions by allowing leisurely trips from the NCR-plus area to areas under GCQ and MGCQ regardless of age.

The NCR-plus bubble area consists of Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal. It is under the GCQ with heightened restrictions until June 15.

In his press briefing on June 1, Roque said leisure trips are allowed as long as travelers test negative for COVID-19 and will comply with government guidelines.

Last month, the IATF has allowed establishments accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT) for staycation activities to operate at full capacity and forego requiring COVID-19 tests for guests.