DOT: Hotels in GCQ, MGCQ areas can operate at full capacity

CHECK-IN. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat tries the process to check-in during the inspection of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in BGC Taguig City on Wednesday, October 14. Puyat also underwent a swab test at the hotel to comply with the government health protocol. | PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan

HOTELS in areas under the modified general community quarantine and general community quarantine are now allowed to operate at full capacity, the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on Wednesday, October 21.

“The decision to open at 100 percent operational capacity will be subject to the hotel management’s decision and compliance with the safety guidelines,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

The announcement came after the DOT was given the authority by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to determine the allowable operational capacity of up to 100 percent for hotels under GCQ and MGCQ areas.

The IATF on Oct. 15 approved Resolution No. 79, which replaces the provision that accommodation establishments in areas under GCQ may only operate with a skeleton workforce.

The resolution also approved the easing up of interzonal and intrazonal movement, which is the predicate to reviving domestic tourism, according to Puyat.

“Along with this comes the need to ready the whole tourism value chain, which includes the accommodation, transportation and tour operation sectors. Allowing the accommodation sector to operate at full capacity will be most welcomed by tourism’s workforce that has been greatly affected since the community lockdown,” she added.

Puyat also said that the DOT will soon issue the amended guidelines for the expanded operational capacity of hotels, including staycation hotels.

Earlier, she directed hotels and other tourism establishments in areas under GCQ to secure a DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycations (DCAOS) before accommodating any guests.

The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA), for its part, welcomed the new development.

“We thank the Secretary for her support to really slowly re-open business as it will benefit the establishments along with employees going back to work.

We fully understand the importance of sanitation, safety, and strict adherence to the protocols which have been implemented since the start,” HSMA president Christine Ibarreta said.

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