UPDATE: Philippines allows tourists of all ages for staycation in GCQ areas

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Philippines allows tourists staycation GCQ
Most of the country’s world-famous travel spots are now opening to tourism activities in the GCQ and the least restrictive MGCQ areas. Images from DOT FB.

The Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) has released its amended guidelines for the accommodation of tourists of all ages on “staycation” in General Community Quarantine (GCQ) areas.

The order allows the operation of accommodation establishments, restaurants and other food and beverage outlets, excluding bars, gyms, and swimming pools.

DOT Administrative Order No. 2020-006-A released to the public on September 30, 2020, amends its previous AO on September 25 with the following guidelines:

Staycation guests

  • Each staycation guest is required to present a negative result from a rapid antigen test that is used in the diagnosis of respiratory pathogens including influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), conducted on the same day of check-in.
  • The new AO also allows “staycations” for persons of all ages including the previously restricted senior citizens and youth under 21 years old, except those with underlying medical conditions.
  • Staycation guests may be accommodated in establishments located in the same province as their residence.

Staycation establishments

  • Establishments should not be currently used as quarantine or isolation facilities for repatriated OFWs or returning overseas Filipinos or as quarters for health workers. Proof of sanitation and disinfection is required for previously used areas.
  • Staycation establishment should be granted a four (4) or five (5) Star Rating by the DOT
  • Staycation establishment should be granted Certificates of Authority to Operate for Staycations (CAOS) by the DOT.
  • Local Government Unit concurrence is required where the accommodation establishment is located.
  • Establishments must follow guidelines for the maximum number of guests.
  • Enforcement of contactless payment and other transactions.
  • Staycation shall comply with health and safety protocols and standards.

“We welcome the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to permit ‘staycations’ or a minimum of an overnight stay for leisure purposes in GCQ areas. This decision adds to the DOT’s drive to slowly but safely resume tourism in the country and finally bring back jobs to our workers in the industry,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

“As safety remains the DOT’s top priority, establishments that will offer staycation services will be strictly monitored. They will be required to keep a record of occupancy and submit it every 10th of the month to the relevant DOT regional office and local government unit (LGU) tourism office for data analysis purposes,” Romulo-Puyat added.

The government has announced the following areas remain under GCQ status from October 1-31:

  • Metro Manila
  • Batangas
  • Tacloban City
  • Bacolod City

The following areas are shifting to MECQ:

  • Iligan City
  • Iloilo City

The rest of the country remains under the least restrictive MGCQ.

Boracay beaches, Baguio City, and other top tourist spots have reopened to tourists with health and safety protocols in place.

The Philippines recently received a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp of approval from the World Tourism Council as a trusted global destination that follows strict health and hygiene protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHECK THIS OUT: Updated Guidelines on Community Quarantine in the Philippines

SEE: What To Do When Suspected or Confirmed to Have COVID in the Philippines

SEND WELL WISHES in the comments below to the Philippines’ tourism industry and tourists of all ages who will go on staycation in GCQ areas!

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The Good News Pilipinas Team
The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.