Hotels, airlines urged to help tourists affected by ECQ

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

April 6, 2021, 4:36 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Tuesday asked all hotels, travel agencies, and airlines to assist tourists who made prior travel arrangements with them but were affected by the extension of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus) areas.

The national government retained the ECQ in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal for another week beginning Monday.

The agency also instructed primary and secondary tourism establishments within the NCR Plus area to comply with the DOT Advisory No. 2 2021 on the Extension of the effectivity of DOT Advisory 2021-01: Providing the Interim Operational Guidelines for Accommodation Establishments.

"The advisory continues to be in effect with the extension of ECQ for another week," the DOT said.

Under ECQ and modified ECQ, only skeletal workforce and in-house staff with free accommodations within the premises are allowed.

Regardless of quarantine status, ancillary facilities and services like restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, spas, swimming pools, and conference or function halls are also prohibited unless permitted by the Department of Health or the Bureau of Quarantine to prepare packed meals for staff and guests or for take-out and delivery to the public.

Meanwhile, it recognized the hotel industry’s continued support in repurposing their accommodations into quarantine facilities for local residents undergoing mandatory quarantine, returning overseas Filipino workers, and overseas Filipinos.

The DOT said about 2,442 rooms from 24 hotels in Metro Manila, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and Regions 4-A and 11 are used as isolation facilities for the Oplan Kalinga program.

Oplan Kalinga is a program by the national government for Covid-19 patients who do not have their own room and own toilet to isolate themselves, or for those who have household members who are elderly, with existing diseases, and pregnant women.

The DOT said it will continue supporting all national efforts in prioritizing the health and safety of travelers, tourism workers, and host communities during the pandemic. (PNA)