It looks like staycations might still be in our future, after all. The Department of Tourism (DOT) has announced that they will allow guests to book “staycations” in hotels located in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).
According to DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, the approval of this decision comes from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in order to safely restart tourism activities during the quarantine.
While we can’t mark our calendars with an official start date yet, the DOT has given a preview of what we can expect.
Staycations in the new normal
DOT Secretary Puyat says that a staycation will involve a minimum overnight stay for leisure in a DOT-accredited Accommodation Enterprise.
Moreover, the hotel must be located in proximity to the guest’s residence, while being subject to the rules and regulations of the local government unit (LGU). So if you live in Metro Manila, your staycation can only be within Metro Manila as well.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Batangas, and Tacloban City will remain under GCQ until 30 Sep 2020. Lanao del Sur, Bacolod City, and Iligan City have been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until the end of the month. The rest of the Philippines is currently under modified GCQ.
The DOT will release the full guidelines for staycations soon. This will include specific regulations addressing every aspect of the guest’s stay, from the maximum number of people allowed in a guestroom to the use of common areas such as restaurants.
Some hotels have already started to implement health and sanitary measures to meet guests in the new normal. But as we continue to wait for an official start date and DOT’S guidelines for staycations under the GCQ, we urge our readers to stay safe and not to travel unless it’s essential.