Staycations in accredited hotels in Metro Manila are now allowed to accommodate guests following the decision of the government’s pandemic task force to place the region under Alert Level 3 from Oct. 16 to 31.
Citing guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said its specialized markets such as staycations shall be allowed at 100 percent operational capacity under Alert Level 3.
Based on the amended guidelines, only DOT-accredited staycation hotels with Safety Seal certification will be allowed to accommodate guests.
These include Grand Hyatt Hotel, Okada Manila Hotel, Shangri-la at the Fort, Nobu Hotel, Joy Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila, EDSA Shangri-la Manila, Solaire Resort, Hyatt Regency and Nuwa Hotel of City of Dreams, The Peninsula Manila, Aruga by Rockwell, Sheraton Manila Hotel, Hilton Manila, Hotel Okura Manila, and Conrad Manila.
Also allowed to operate are Diamond Hotel Philippines, Discovery Primea, Discovery Suites, Fairmont and Raffles Hotel, Makati Diamond Residences, Marco Polo Hotel, New World Hotel Makati, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Holiday Inn and Suites Makati, Century Park Hotel, Novotel Manila Araneta City, The Bellevue Manila, Acacia Hotel Manila, Belmont Hotel Manila, and The Manila Hotel.
According to the DOT, individuals of all ages may check-in for staycation but only fully vaccinated guests aged 18 and above will be allowed to book their stay.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the resumption of staycations is “very timely” to allow families to gather and travel together as the holiday season nears.
“Family gatherings are part of the Filipino culture, which makes this an important period for leisure travels and bookings,” she added.
Expanded capacity in resto, other tourism establishments
Under Alert Level 3, dine-in services in restaurants in the National Capital Region (NCR) have also been expanded. Outdoor or al fresco dine-in will now be allowed at 50 percent venue capacity while indoor dine-in will be at 30 percent only for fully-vaccinated individuals.
The same operational capacity will also be applied to other tourism-related establishments such as venues for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), venues for social events such as weddings, parties, and family reunions, and tourist attractions such as museums, parks plazas, public gardens, and other scenic viewpoints.
Puyat noted that these establishments may operate with an additional 20 percent capacity since the NCR has met the requirement of at least 70 percent vaccination rate for senior citizens and those with comorbidities, and another 10 percent operational capacity if they have been granted a Safety Seal by the government.
The Safety Seal certification was awarded to tourism enterprises such as hotels, resorts, and other accommodation establishments, as well as tourist attractions, which are compliant with health and safety standards set by the government.
‘Big boost’ for businesses
The IATF approved on Wednesday, Oct. 13, the recommendation to downgrade the alert level in the National Capital Region (NCR) which has been aggressively sought by the private sector to revive business establishments amid the pandemic.
The tourism chief welcomed this development, adding that the eased restrictions under Alert Level 3 is a “big boost” to tourism-oriented establishments and will help restore the jobs of displaced industry workers.
“The resumption of tourism-related activities in select areas will not only aid hotels and establishments in gradually earning revenue, but will also translate into the restoration of jobs for our displaced tourism workers, especially now that the holiday season is fast approaching,” Puyat said.