The Department of Tourism (DoT) has suspended the operation of staycation hotels in Metro Manila and its four adjacent provinces – Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna – for the entire week beginning Holy Monday, March 29.
This was after the government has decided to place these areas, also known as “NCR Plus,” under stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 29 until April 4 to curb the rising COVID-19 cases in the country.
In a statement on Saturday, March 27, the DoT announced that only accredited accommodation establishments operating as quarantine facilities will be allowed to operate during the entire ECQ period.
However, DoT-accredited accommodation establishments were reminded to strictly enforce minimum health guidelines and quarantine protocols to also ensure the safety of their frontline workers.
“Violators are warned of the penalties which include fines, suspension and cancellation of accreditation, depending on the gravity of offense,” the DoT emphasized.
Meanwhile, the transportation department also thanked staycation hotels for allowing their clients who have been affected by the new restrictions to rebook without penalties and supporting efforts of the government to maintain a healthy and safe tourism industry.
The DoT has been helping local government units to allow safe revival of the domestic tourism industry especially this summer season and the Holy Week which are considered peak seasons on many tourist destinations.
The country’s tourism sector is among the hardest-hit by the ongoing pandemic due to travel restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The United World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reported in January a sharp decline of 72 percent or at least 1 billion fewer in international tourist arrivals from January to October last year – calling 2020 the “worst year in tourism history.”