Leisure flights from NCR suspended: DOT

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

July 30, 2021, 3:23 pm

MANILA – Leisure point-to-point flights are suspended, effective immediately for areas under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions (GCQ-HR), the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Friday.

Through the Interagency Task Force Resolution No 130-A, Metro Manila had been placed under GCQ-HR from July 30 to August 5, 2021, and on a two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) beginning August 6 until August 20, 2021.

"In the interim week under the GCQ-HR, point-to-point (P2P) flights for leisure are suspended, effective immediately. However, returning flights are allowed for tourists residing in the NCR Plus (NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal)," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

To prevent congestion in the borders, she said that "any type of non-essential travel to and from the NCR Plus" is also prohibited, and that only Authorized Persons Outside their Residences (APORs) are allowed.

'Staycation suspended' 

Staycations and operations of indoor tourist attractions were likewise suspended throughout the period, but DOT said those who are already checked in for staycation as of July 29 may continue their stay until the last day of their original booking.

Hotels and accommodations outside of NCR Plus are also no longer allowed to accept leisure guests from the bubble beginning July 30, regardless of the date of booking.

"DOT-accredited AEs (accommodation establishments) may only accommodate those required to undergo quarantine, long stay guests as defined in DOT Administrative Order No. 2021-004-A, health and emergency frontline services personnel who need easy access to their place of work, and APORs who require accommodation pursuant to their official function or duty," Romulo-Puyat said.

Mass gatherings, including social events and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) remain prohibited while "dining in restaurant establishments premises shall not be allowed" starting August 1.

Meanwhile, the DOT urged stakeholders, particularly hotel operators, travel agencies, and airlines, to allow affected guests to rebook without charges.

"The National Task Force Vaccine Cluster is ramping up efforts to vaccinate tourism workers in more destinations across the country. The cooperation of all will be vital to the success of the government’s current efforts to inoculate more individuals against the virus and curb the spread of Covid-19," Romulo-Puyat said. (PNA