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IATF OKs ‘staycations’ in GCQ areas

Bernadette Romulo-Puyat
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat

HOTELS in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) may soon accept “staycation” guests aside from health workers and exempted employees, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat confirmed on Friday night.

“Upon the recommendation of the Department of Tourism (DOT) to explore various ways in restarting tourism activities during quarantine, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved during its Principals Meeting on 10 September 2020 to allow staycations under GCQ,” Romulo-Puyat said in a text message.

She defined staycation as a “minimum overnight stay for leisure purposes” in a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment located near one’s residence.

For instance, residents of Metro Manila can check-in at a hotel within the National Capital Region subject to the requirements of the local government unit.

Romulo-Puyat said the DOT would soon issue a memorandum circular on staycations under GCQ based on comments and suggestions of the IATF-EID.

The memorandum circular would have specific regulations on all aspects involved in this activity, ranging from the maximum allowable number of persons in a guestroom to the use of ancillary services, such as restaurants and recreational areas.

In the IATF-EID’s Resolution 70, hotels were also allowed to accommodate guests that fall under “markets of specialized programs of the DOT.

Romulo-Puyat said these programs would focus on “specific target markets that can safely contribute” to the efforts of restarting economic activities through tourism.

She, however, declined to divulge who could be tagged as target markets pending the release of the guidelines.

– Philippine News Agency