The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that staycations in hotels are suspended within the National Capital Region (NCR) during the entire Holy Week, where the said areas are under the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ).
After Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna were put under the ECQ, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat issued the interim operational guidelines to DOT-accredited hotel and other accommodation establishments to be implemented starting at midnight Monday, of March 29 up until Sunday, of April 4.
An advisory was sent to all the hotels, resorts, apartment hotels, motels, and other similar establishments which stated that the DOT will suspend all the staycation operation of hotels for leisure guests within the said affected areas.
On the other hand, guests may still be able to avail their bookings by midnight on Sunday, but no new bookings will be allowed for the next week.
President of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association, Christian Ibarreta, told the tourism officials that guests that booked accommodation during the ECQ period will be allowed to rebook without sort of penalties ahead, provided that they have booked directly with the hotels themselves.
Puyat expressed her thanks to the staycation hotels for they allowed their guests to rebook without penalties "as they support the goals of this administration for a healthy and safe tourism industry."
According to the nature of the Accommodation Establishments, the DOT categorized it into three namely:
Isolation facilities, for COVID-19 positive guests;
Quarantine hotels, for individuals who must undergo quarantine, such as returning overseas Filipinos; foreign nationals allowed entry to the country; those unable to quarantine in their homes; and health workers who need accommodation near their place of work; and
Regular hotels, which are neither isolation facilities nor quarantine hotels, and include hotels with issued Certificates of Authority to Operate for Staycation.
The DOT said in its advisory that regular hotels under ECQ and modified ECQ can only accommodate guests with long-term leases, those who are locally stranded individuals, or those transiting to their place of residence, and authorized persons outside of residence according to their official duties.
For establishments to avoid sanctions including fines, suspension, and cancelation of accreditation, they must strictly implement minimum health and safety protocols as urged by the Department.
Only a skeleton workforce and in-house staff with free accommodations within the premises of these establishments will be allowed to work during the ECQ and MECQ, the DOT said.
Unless allowed by the Department of Health or the Bureau of Quarantine, ancillary facilities and services like restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, spas, swimming pools, and conference or function halls to prepare packed meals for staff and guests or take-out and delivery to the public are prohibited to operate regardless of quarantine status.
Quarantine hotels are also urged to implement measures to ensure that quarantine guests would not be mixed with health workers, including the designation of separate floor or wings, elevators and passageways.
Meanwhile, regular hotels may operate ancillary facilities under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) provided that they follow the minimum health standards and issuances of the IATF, the Department of Trade and Industry, and other concerned government agencies.
Source: GMA News