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DOT lifts wearing of face masks, presenting proof of vaccination in hotels, other tourism establishments

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Mar 07, 2023 8:47 pm

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has further eased health and safety guidelines against the COVID-19 virus in tourism establishments in an attempt to push for "more openness" of the country to tourists and travelers.

On their official Facebook account, the tourism agency released their updated health and safety protocols for their tourism enterprises, wherein they announced that through their new memorandum circular, the "presentation of proof of full vaccination as well as the wearing of face masks in tourism enterprises will no longer be required."

Based on their list of tourism enterprises, these pertain to hotels, resorts, travel and tour agencies, among others.

Aside from this, the agency will be lifting the use of plastic, acrylic barriers and dividers in designated areas. They will also no longer issue the PH Safety Seal and World Travel & Tourism Council Safe Travels Stamp to tourism enterprises.

Additionally, the DOT will no longer require accommodation establishments to submit information regarding the number, nature of work, and length of stay of permitted guests, as well as names of companies or businesses with employees that are booked with the establishment.

According to Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, this was mandated in order to continue the efforts of the department to "assist the economic hardships of tourism stakeholders by issuing regulations pushing for the opening up of the country to tourism."

"This latest issuance on the relaxed health and safety guidelines for tourism establishments reinforces the Department of Tourism’s commitment towards addressing the economic hardships of the tourism industry brought about by the lockdowns and restrictions of the pandemic," Frasco said.

She went on, "It sends the important message across that, under the Marcos Administration, our country is open for tourism, and that we are keeping up with global practices on tourism operations that have already opened up worldwide."

Back in November, DOT had started to ease their health protocols against the COVID-19 virus by reinstating the voluntary wearing of face masks and lessening the the presentation of proof of full vaccination in tourism enterprises.

These come after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed of Executive Order No. 7, which allowed for the voluntary wearing of face masks in indoor and outdoor settings.