The Department of Tourism (DOT) vowed Friday, September 24, to continue monitoring the compliance of accredited accommodation establishments in the National Capital Region (NCR) after the government issued the guidelines for a new lockdown scheme in the form of alert levels.
DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said hotels and resorts were already informed about the operational guidelines on tourism-related activities for the pilot run of a new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) alert level system in the NCR to curb the spread of the virus and its variants.
Puyat expressed optimism that the establishments will follow the guidelines set by the government to ensure the safety and protection of tourism workers and guests amid the pandemic.
“Travelers want a higher level of safety when they visit our destinations and experience its amenities. We are confident that our DOT-accredited hotels and resorts will comply with the newly-issued operational guidelines under the Alert Levels System to keep everyone safe,” Puyat said.
“While the new guidelines enable tourism to resume to some extent, minimum health standards and physical distancing measures must still be strictly observed,” she added.
Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 4, the second highest classification in the new alert level system, until September 30.
Under Alert Level 4, intrazonal and interzonal leisure travel will be allowed for all individuals except for those who are below 18 and over 65 years old, pregnant, or with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, and other health risks.
While travel restrictions were eased for some NCR residents, Puyat noted that side trips to other tourism destinations will not be allowed and only stopovers for eating and other personal necessities will be permitted.
“We also urge the public to follow the new guidelines being implemented by our accredited hotels and resorts for their own safety and protection,” Puyat emphasized.
Aside from hotels and resorts, outdoor tourist attractions such as parks, plazas, public gardens, and scenic viewpoints or overlooks are allowed to operate at 30 percent capacity.
Indoor dine-in services are also allowed to operate but can only accommodate fully-vaccinated individuals and at a maximum of 10 percent seating capacity. The same rule will also be applied for indoor barbershops, salons, and nail spas inside accommodation establishments.
Meanwhile, al-fresco dining and outdoor services can be offered up to 30 percent of the establishment’s seating capacity, regardless of customers’ vaccination status.
The tourism chief added that operations of Certificate of Authority to Operate as Staycation (CAOS); indoor and outdoor venues for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events (MICE); venues for social events including parties, weddings; and amusement and theme parks will remain prohibited under Alert Level 4.