Leisure Travel From NCR Plus To Boracay, MGCQ Areas Extended

Tourists of all ages are free to travel from National Capital Region (NCR) Plus to Boracay and other tourist destinations under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until June 30 subject to certain restrictions.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat made this clarification on Wednesday following reports that some tourism stakeholders may not be aware that restrictions had been relaxed, even for seniors and young travelers, since June 1.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) had allowed the movement of persons traveling in and out of NCR Plus (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) from June 1 to 15. This was extended up to June 30.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced earlier this week that NCR Plus would remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) with varying degrees of restrictions.

“This extended liberal movement of people will allow the DOT and local government units to revive the jobs of displaced tourism workers,” Puyat said.

Resolution 121 of the IATF allows interzonal travel between areas under GCQ and MGCQ for leisure purposes. However, tourists coming from Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal may only undertake point-to-point travel to GCQ and MGCQ areas.

Such travel shall be allowed for all ages, subject to RT-PCR testing before travel for those below 18 and above 65 and other restrictions imposed by the DOT and the local government unit of the destination.

Data from the Malay, Aklan Municipal Tourism Office revealed that a total of 9,066 tourists arrived in Boracay through Caticlan from June 1 to 13. Of this number, 890 are travelers aged 0 to 12 years old while 178 are aged 60 and above.

About 64 percent or 5,772 visitors to Boracay came from the NCR, followed by visitors from Region 4A (CALABARZON), with Rizal having 681 visitors, Cavite with 639, and Laguna with 462.

Accredited staycation hotels in all GCQ areas were allowed to accommodate leisure guests of up to 100 percent of their capacity. Other DOT-accredited establishments in GCQ areas may operate at 30 percent capacity only for guests coming from the same household and subject to the strict monitoring of the local government unit.

Meanwhile, Puyat urged tourism enterprises to abide by the guidelines of the IATF.

Until June 30, outdoor tourist attractions in GCQ areas, including NCR and Bulacan, may operate at 50 percent capacity, while those in Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal may operate at 30 percent capacity with strict adherence to minimum public health and safety guidelines.

Indoor tourist attractions such as museums and historical sites will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity in GCQ areas, at 30 percent in the NCR and Bulacan. They are not allowed in Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal.

Essential meetings and events which include Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) activities, and social events such as weddings, birthday celebrations, are allowed in GCQ areas at up to 50 percent of the capacity, except for NCR and Bulacan where essential meetings are only allowed at up to 30 percent of the capacity and social events are allowed at up to 10 percent.

Establishments in NCR and Bulacan granted with the government’s Safety Seal may have an additional 10 percent capacity in their operations. All these events remain prohibited in Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal.

“The amended guidelines from the Task Force also comes with the responsibility to strictly adhere to the minimum health and safety protocols when traveling,” Puyat reminded the public. (PNA)

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