The Department of Tourism (DOT) hailed the recent decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under Alert Level 2 starting November 5 until November 21.
Tourism Chief Berna Romulo-Puyat expressed her gratitude to the IATF for listening to the plea of the stakeholders; she also noted this decision would provide greater mobility to the public, including kids and seniors.
With the holiday season approaching, Puyat said that this is an encouraging development.
“The eased travel restrictions under this alert level will greatly help tourism businesses bounce back and maximize the opportunities brought by the holiday season,” she stated.
“We also expect more Filipinos–especially families with children and elderly–to be able to enjoy our tourist destinations while following minimum health and safety protocols,” Puyat added.
What’s Allowed under Alert Level 2?
Based on the Alert Levels System guidelines, interzonal and intrazonal travel shall be allowed in areas under Alert Level 2, subject to reasonable restrictions by the local government units (LGUs).
Puyat reminded that leisure travelers who are 18 years old and above but are not yet fully vaccinated would be required to undergo an RT-PCR test taken not more than 48 hours before check-in or arrival.
But, those under 18 years old that are not yet fully vaccinated are exempted from the testing requirement.
She also encouraged travelers needing an RT-PCR test to avail the ongoing subsidy program of the DOT’s Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).
Under the program, domestic tourists may avail of a free RT-PCR test with a cap of 350 approved applicants per day.
Meanwhile, Puyat said that under Alert Level 2, restaurants inside DOT-accredited hotels may allow unvaccinated kids to dine in.
According to the IATF guidelines, dine-in services of restaurants may operate at a maximum of 50% indoor capacity for fully vaccinated individuals and those below 18 years old, even if unvaccinated.
For outdoor or alfresco dine-in services, a maximum of 70% of the venue capacity is allowed.
Establishments that have obtained the Safety Seal certification from the government may operate at an additional 10% capacity.
Another 20% capacity will be added if those establishments have vaccinated 70% of its A2 and A3 Priority Groups, for a maximum total of 80% indoor venue capacity or 100% outdoor venue capacity.
The following shall also be allowed with the same restrictions:
- Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE);
- Permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers;
- Tourist attractions such as libraries, archives, museums, galleries, exhibits, parks, plazas, public gardens, scenic viewpoints or overlooks, and the like; and
- Amusement parks or theme parks
The guidelines, however, explicitly state that all workers and employees of these establishments must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and minimum public health standards are strictly maintained before they can operate.