The Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) has reminded hotels in the region that they cannot operate as a quarantine facility and a leisure accommodation at the same time.
In an advisory on Friday, DOT-7 regional head Shahlimar Hofer Tamano said such policy applies to areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) or general community quarantine (GCQ).
“We urge you to choose between continuing to operate as quarantine or isolation facility or provide accommodation for business and leisure or staycation purposes,” the DOT official said.
Since the quarantine started, the government has tapped hotels that closed due to the pandemic to operate as quarantine facilities for returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) or as housing facilities for healthcare workers and medical front-liners.
Tamano reminded hotels to ensure guests billeted in their respective properties, especially those that need to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine, to strictly follow quarantine protocols for all arriving international passengers.
Accommodation establishments offered to convert their leisure facilities to cater to the ROFs through the government repatriation program for locally stranded individuals who opt to spend their isolation in hotels and for authorized persons outside residence during their mandatory quarantine.
DOT has continued to ease up on the stringent policies for the accommodation sector.
The agency has allowed the accommodation facilities in MGCQ and GCQ areas to open at full operational capacity, subject to the hotel management’s decision and compliance with the safety guidelines.
DOT pointed out that hotels still cannot operate for a staycation and temporary quarantine facility at the same time amid the health risks.
As stated in the DOT Administrative Order (AO) No. 2020-006, the only hotels that can accommodate guests for staycations are those that are not concurrently being used as quarantine or isolation facilities for ROFs or as quarters for healthcare workers.
In the AO, DOT defines staycations as referring to an activity involving a minimum of an overnight stay for leisure purposes in an accommodation establishment that is not used as a Covid-19 quarantine facility.
Hotels are mandated to obtain from the DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycations (CAOS) to be able to operate as accommodation establishments catering to business and leisure. (PNA)