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Hotel health protocols readied
In a Viber message yesterday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the government has yet to approve safety protocols for the operation of accommodation establishments in areas under general community quarantine.
STAR/ File

Hotel health protocols readied

Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - April 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) as well as tourism stakeholders are emphasizing the need for safety protocols for the operations of accommodation establishments in areas to be placed under general community quarantine.

In a Viber message yesterday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the government has yet to approve safety protocols for the operation of accommodation
 establishments in areas under general community quarantine.

“We have already drafted the safety protocols for the accommodation sector and have given it to the private sector for their comments,” Puyat told The STAR.

Puyat said this will then be presented to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases for approval.

“But for now, hotels will continue to operate during a modified ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) and used as quarantine facilities for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and overseas Filipinos as well as accommodation for essential industries such as healthcare facilities, banks, BPOs (business process outsourcing) and other frontline service sectors,” Puyat said.

Apart from the above-mentioned, other hotels currently allowed to operate in areas under enhanced community quarantine are those with long-staying guests, stranded tourists as well as transiting foreign nationals.

Industry groups in the tourism sector also stressed the need for safety protocols in the operations of accommodation establishments.

“There are guidelines being crafted and deliberated on by the private sector and the DOT to ensure strict hygiene and sanitary protocols are adhered,” Hotel Sales and Marketing Association Philippines president Christine Ibarreta said.

Tourism Congress of the Philippines president Jose Clemente III also emphasized that guidelines should be established and strictly implemented to ensure that possible COVID-19 inflections be minimized or avoided.

The DOT earlier reported that a total of 25,687 rooms in NCR have been allotted for BPO, bank and healthcare workers.

Meanwhile, a total of 40,217 rooms in Luzon have been identified by the DOT for use as COVID-19 facilities.

It added that a total of 5,507 rooms and 2,828 rooms have also been identified for use as COVID facilities in the Visayas and Mindanao, respectively.

BERNADETTE ROMULO-PUYAT JOSE CLEMENTE III NCR
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