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Restrictions on leisure travel lifted

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Leisure travel from Metro Manila to areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ (MGCQ) are allowed subject to local government guidelines starting September 16 to 30 after the region was placed under Alert Level 4 in the pilot Covid-19 alert levels system, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

In a text message Tuesday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said leisure travel may resume in these areas and only "if LGU allows" as she cited some specific restrictions by the likes of Baguio that is under GCQ and Batanes already under MGCQ.

"(Travel is allowed in) GCQ to MGCQ and if LGU allows. Some LGUs are already under MGCQ but do not allow yet," she said in Filipino.

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NCR residents below 18 and over 65 years old, on the other hand, are not yet permitted to leave their residences for the purpose of leisure travel following alert level 4 guidelines.

"Travelers will also be subject to reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities as may be determined by their respective LGU and the reasonable regulations of their destination's LGU," DOT said in a statement.

Areas under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and GCQ with heightened restrictions from Sept. 8 to 30 are as follows:

MECQ

  • Apayao
  • Bataan
  • Bulacan
  • Cavite
  • Rizal
  • Laguna
  • Iloilo Province
  • Iloilo City
  • Lucena City
  • Cagayan de Oro City

GCQ with heightened restrictions

  • Ilocos Sur
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Cagayan
  • Pangasinan
  • Quezon
  • Batangas
  • Antique
  • Capiz
  • Cebu Province
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Negros Oriental
  • Naga City
  • Bacolod City
  • Zambaonga del Sur
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Davao City
  • Davao del Norte
  • Davao de Oro
  • Davao Occidental
  • Butuan City

Baguio was placed under GCQ but non-essential travel to the city has been suspended from September 3 to 19 while Batanes, under MGCQ, deferred from accepting tourists from other provinces for the meantime.

The national government piloted the Covid-19 alert levels system in NCR that was declared Alert Level 4 from Sept. 16 to 30.

Based on the guidelines, "intrazonal and interzonal travel for persons not otherwise required to remain at their residences" is allowed "subject to the reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination" on this level.

Outdoor or al fresco dine-in are also permitted at 30 percent venue capacity while indoor dine-in will be allowed at 10 percent only for fully-vaccinated individuals.

Meanwhile, staycations, indoor visitor or tourist attractions, and indoor venues for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) are prohibited under Alert Level 4.

Romulo-Puyat said the high inoculation rate among tourism workers from hotels will make dining in their restaurants safer.

“The good news is that 99 percent of tourism workers employed in hotels across Metro Manila have been vaccinated," she said.

"All in all, tourism workers in NCR, including those in DOT-accredited restaurants recorded a 94 percent vaccination rate. This is an added assurance, not only to the safety of our guests, but our tourism workers as well," she added.

The DOT noted that only point-to-point travel would be allowed, which means "pit stops or stopovers are allowed for eating and personal necessities, but no side trips shall be made to other tourism destinations." 


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