Good news for those seeking a change of environment after being cooped up at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Tourism (DOT) is slowly giving luxury hotels in Metro Manila the go signal to resume operations and accept guests for staycation.
As the health and safety of everyone remains a priority, DOT issued guidelines last September for general community quarantine (GCQ) areas through the Administrative Order 2020-006-A.
Based on these guidelines, all accommodation establishments in areas declared under GCQ must apply for and secure a certificate of authority to operate for staycations from DOT before they can accommodate guests.
The following hotels have secured certificates from the DOT and are now allowed to receive guests: Okada Manila, Solaire Resort, and City of Dreams Manila's Nobu Hotel, Hyatt Regency and Nuwa in Parañaque City; Makati Shangri-La in Makati City, Grand Hyatt and Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig City, EDSA Shangri-La in Mandaluyong City and Joy Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila in Pasig City.
In a report from The STAR, The Department of Tourism said that there are 28 star-rated accommodation establishments in Metro Manila. Of these, 16 are five-star and 12 are four-star.
Under the guidelines, guests of all ages will be accepted except those with underlying medical conditions or are pregnant.
Guests are also required to present a negative test result from a rapid antigen test conducted on the same day of check-in.
According to the guidelines, contactless and cashless transactions for taking bookings and payments are mandatory to promote minimal physical contact among staff and guests.
The hotels are also required to follow guidelines on guest handling, including the maximum number of guests per room, as well as health and safety standards for ancillary establishments.
The number of guests per room is limited depending on the room’s size: one or two persons from the same household for 20-sq.-m. rooms; two persons for 21-sq.-m. rooms; three persons for 30- to 39-sq.-m. rooms; four persons for 40- to 49-sq.-m. rooms; and a maximum of five persons for rooms that are 50 sq. m. and above.
The establishment may also opt to resume operations of ancillary facilities like gyms, swimming pools, restaurants, and other F&B outlets, except for bars that are still prohibited in GCQ areas.
According to Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, establishments that will offer staycation services will be strictly monitored and violators shall suffer appropriate fines and fees, including revocation of DOT accreditation.
The move to allow staycations is part of government efforts to restart the tourism economy—a major driver of the Philippines’ economy—that has been pummeled by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic since March.