The Department of Tourism (DOT) said only essential travel is allowed to and from the NCR Plus Regions after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) placed it under "GCQ with heightened restriction," starting today, May 15 to 30, 2021.
The IATF-EID Resolution No. 115-A allows the implementation of "specialized markets of the Department of Tourism" subject to the observance of minimum public health standards.
These specialized markets include the Staycation Program and the point-to-point (P2P) air travel for leisure from the NCR Plus Regions.
Under the DOT Administrative Order No. 2021-003, P2P air travel from NCR Plus areas to a resort in places under GCQ or modified GCQ is allowed as long as it's through a chartered flight, which may involve short, private transfers by land or sea.
Only Accommodation Establishments granted a Certificate of Authority to Operate for P2P may accept guests from NCR Plus.
On the other hand, Staycation for individuals 18 to 65 years old is allowed only for accommodation establishments in NCR Plus that have been granted a Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycation.
"The easing of restrictions in NCR Plus is good news for our tourism stakeholders. This means more tourism workers will go back to work, and economic activities will continue. Needless to say, there is no room for complacency. We need to observe the health and safety protocols in every destination that we wish to visit," Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
Additionally, the IATF also allowed outdoor tourist attractions to open at 30 percent capacity with strict adherence to minimum public health standards under Resolution 115-A.
Meanwhile, Indoor dine-in services can operate at 20 percent of venue or seating capacity, while outdoor or alfresco dining can open at 50 percent of venue or seating capacity.
The DOT welcomes IATF decision to ease travel in NCR Plus as the tourism chief encouraged,
"We are taking every little opening possible under the current quarantine condition. Every step, big or small, will support our tourism workforce and sustain our industry."