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DOT: Safety marshals to monitor beaches
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat recently signed Memorandum Circular No. 2020-007 or the “Health and Safety Guidelines Governing the Operation of Island and Beach Destinations under the New Normal.” The guidelines include the designation of safety marshals as well as lifeguards.
Walter Bollozos, file

DOT: Safety marshals to monitor beaches

Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - September 11, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Safety marshals should be deployed in beach and island destinations when they reopen, in line with ensuring that physical distancing measures are being followed, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said yesterday.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat recently signed Memorandum Circular No. 2020-007 or the “Health and Safety Guidelines Governing the Operation of Island and Beach Destinations under the New Normal.” The guidelines include the designation of safety marshals as well as lifeguards.

Under the guidelines, local government units (LGUs) may designate safety marshals to ensure physical distancing among guests at all times.

This will be in addition to the lifeguards on duty during prescribed swimming hours. “The DOT maintains its commitment to safely resume tourism in the Philippines under a ‘New Normal,’” Puyat said, emphasizing that participation and cooperation are key to the effective implementation of the guidelines.

Puyat stressed that under the guidelines, mass gatherings and group events including sports competitions, youth camps and other activities that gather crowds must comply with the health and safety protocols of the national and local governments.

“In a new normal scenario where no quarantine classification is imposed, swimming, surfing, running, walking and other forms of outdoor non-contact sports and exercises will be allowed in our island and beach destinations, as long as minimum public health standards are strictly observed,” Puyat said.

Meanwhile, the guidelines also require guests to undergo mandatory screening at the port of entry, while guests who intend to stay for at least one night must also present their confirmed hotel or resort bookings during the screening process.

“Guests who intend to make last-minute bookings can do so at the port of entry, where a directory of DOT-accredited establishments will be made available,” the DOT said.

It added that those who have no confirmed bookings will be allowed entry at the destination, provided that they have joined a day tour package or have an outbound ticket on the same day.

The DOT said it will also require all tourism establishments to adopt contactless or digital modes of taking reservations and payments. “Concessions, shops, peddlers, ambulant vendors and food vending will remain strictly prohibited at beaches.

So are chairs, canopies, grills and other ancillary temporary structures,” the DOT said. In addition, the guidelines stressed that restrooms must meet the requirements and qualifications prescribed under the ASEAN Public Toilet standards.

“The DOT prioritizes the safety of tourism stakeholders, workers, guests and the communities in our island and beach destinations,” Puyat said.

“While we await the time when we can visit these destinations, I encourage everyone to educate ourselves with all the protocols.

Let us work together in making tourism under a New Normal a safe yet fun experience for all,” she added. Puyat also signed Administrative Order No. 2020-004 titled “Guidelines for Leisure and Tourism Operations of Island and Beach Destinations under a Modified General Community Quarantine,” which reiterates the DOT’s strict adherence to the existing rules set by the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on interzonal movement, health and safety standards, and leisure and tourism activity in island and beach destinations under MGCQ.

BEACH DOT
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