DOT issues dos and donâts for âstaycationsâ in GCQ areas
This file photo shows a hotel room.
Pixabay/David Lee

DOT issues dos and don’ts for ‘staycations’ in GCQ areas

Rosette Adel ( - September 29, 2020 - 10:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism on Tuesday released the strict guidelines for hotel staycations for leisure purposes in general community quarantine areas.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat signed Administrative Order 2020-006-a, or the Amended Guidelines for Staycations Under GCQ, last Friday. It was only released to the members of the press early Tuesday.

Under this order, hotels within the GCQ areas may accept guests of all ages, except those with underlying medical conditions.

These accommodation establishments, however, must secure a DOT Certificate to Operate for Staycations prior to accepting guests.

The DOT launched the online accreditation system on Tuesday.

They must also follow guidelines on guest handling and maximum capacity number of guests for room.

Two weeks ago, the DOT said accommodation establishments in areas under modified GCQ (MGCQ) are also allowed to resume normal operations but only at 50-percent operational capacity.

Under the "new normal", physical contact among staff and guests must now be minimized. The DOT mandated the establishments to follow contactless and cashless transactions when taking guests’ bookings and payments.

The establishments are likewise required to develop staycation packages that are appropriate for the present market demands and conditions.

“The offerings must strictly adhere to the existing health and safety guidelines of the DOT and will likewise be monitored by the concerned regional office of the department,” Puyat said.

Aside from these, the order also allows resumption of operations of facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, restaurants and other food and beverage outlets, except for bars which remain prohibited in GCQ areas. 

“As safety remains the DOT’s top priority, establishments that will offer staycation services will be strictly monitored. They will be required to keep a record of occupancy and submit it every 10th of the month to the relevant DOT regional office and local government unit (LGU) tourism office for data analysis purposes,” Puyat said. 

Establishments are asked to follow other issuances on health and safety standards from the Department of Trade and Industry or the or Department of Health (DOH) as well as rules and regulations imposed by the local government unit concerned. 

The tourism chief reminded establishments that they may face fines and fees as well as revocation of their accreditation for violating safety rules.

Puyat also released a memorandum circular that updates and harmonizes these guidelines with the existing policies set by sector-relevant agencies.

Guests who plan on going on staycation will be required to present a negative result from a rapid antigen test conducted on the same day of check-in.

Puyat welcomes the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) move to allow staycations in GCQ areas.

“This decision adds to the DOT’s drive to slowly but safely resume tourism in the country and finally bring back jobs to our workers in the industry,” the tourism chief said. 

“Nothing beats restarting the tourism economy. We need to bring back jobs but with health and safety as a priority,” she concluded.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday extended the GCQ phase for residents in Metro Manila, Batangas, Tacloban City, Bacolod City, Iligan City, and Iloilo City until October 31.

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