Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat has confirmed that staycation will remain prohibited under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) Alert Level 4, but the department is continuing to “push” for it to be allowed and for age restrictions, which are now discretionary on the part of local government units, to be lifted totally.
When asked by ANC Headstart host Karen Davila today, Sept. 15, why staycations are not allowed but indoor dining is, Romulo-Puyat shared that indoor dining was only allowed after being proven that it was safe enough.
"Pero yun na yung next ko na, Karen," Romulo-Puyat said.
"[Indoor dining] muna. Paonti-onti and I am confident that all our hotels and all our restaurants... everything will be followed."
"That's the next I will push for: staycation."
She added that the lifting of age restrictions will also be DOT's next step to loosen restrictions. Under GCQ Alert Level 4, only citizens aged 18 to 65 years old are allowed outside for leisure as long as the destinations are also under GCQ or modified GCQ (MGCQ). The decision will also be "up to the LGU."
“That’s [what] we’re always pushing for, and a lot of times, we were successful in pushing for no age restrictions, (if there's) no COVID outbreak,” Puyat added.
Right now, Romulo-Puyat said that tourist destinations, which are open, still require tourists to be fully vaccinated and have a negative RT-PCR test so it's best to confirm first with the LGU their travel requirement before booking travel plans.
The Secretary added that tourism workers and tourists alike should make sure that they are vaccinated. "Anybody who wants to dine in a hotel [is] assured they are safe because they are vaccinated—everybody there," she said.
Intrazonal and interzonal leisure travel is allowed in Metro Manila under Alert Level 4—meaning permitted individuals can travel in and out of their areas to dine in and visit open tourist destinations starting Sept. 16 until Sept. 30.
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