Interzonal leisure travel for the residents of the National Capital Region (NCR) will now be allowed beginning on September 16, according to the latest resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Starting on September 16 to 30, NCR will be placed under the Alert Level 4 classification.
However, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat clarified that based on the Alert Level 4 guidelines, NCR residents below 18 and over 65 years old are not permitted to leave their residences for leisure travel.
Travelers will also be subject to reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities as may be determined by their respective local government unit (LGU) and the reasonable regulations of their destination's LGU.
Meanwhile, Puyat assured that dining in restaurants is safer as hotel tourism workers' inoculation rate is high.
"The good news is that 99 percent of tourism workers employed in hotels across Metro Manila have been vaccinated. All in all, tourism workers in NCR, including those in DOT-accredited restaurants, recorded a 94 percent vaccination rate. This is an added assurance, not only to the safety of our guests but our tourism workers as well," she stated.
Under the current guidelines, outdoor or alfresco dine-in will be allowed at 30% venue capacity, while indoor dine-in will only be allowed at 10% and for fully-vaccinated individuals.
"Allowing fully vaccinated guests to dine in restaurants located inside DOT-accredited hotels and restaurants will slowly help restart the economy while making sure all our tourism workers and guests are safe," she added.
But, under Alert level 4 as per IATF ruling, all NCR-related establishments that specialized markets of the DOT, such as Staycations, indoor visitor or tourist attractions, and indoor venues for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE), are not allowed to operate, Puyat stressed.
"In light of the rising COVID-19 cases across the country, everyone is strongly reminded to observe the minimum health and safety protocols at all times," she said.