DoT Says Foreign Travel is Unlikely This 2020

While it looks like the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila might actually be lifted by May 15, 2020; it also looks like we will have to get used to a “new normal” once it does.

For starters, the Department of Tourism (DoT) has announced that foreign travel might have to wait until 2021. During an online hearing of the House Committee on tourism on Tuesday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that international travel might not happen this year. “At this point in time, traveling is but a dream,” she states. Domestic travel was not mentioned, though.

A general community quarantine (GCQ) is set to be implemented after the ECQ until a COVID-19 vaccine is found – and this will also affect our travel plans. The GCQ will involve the following:

Changes in Tourism Services

  • It will be mandatory to conduct regular inspection, sanitation, and disinfection of accommodations, tourism transport services, and other tourism-related establishments, like meeting venues, exhibit venues, spas, and restaurants.
  • Tourism workers will be required to use disinfecting and sanitation tools, including personal protective equipment.
  • The capacity of restaurants, transportation, and tourist spots like meeting facilities, convention facilities, parks, and museums will be limited.

New Hotel Requirements

  • Hotels are requested to use systems for contactless check-in, so that guests can just pick up their keycards and go straight to their rooms.
  • Breakfast buffets may be replaced with bento boxes to avoid the use of the same serving spoons.
  • Better spacing of tables and the expansion of kitchens are requested to follow proper rules of social distancing.

What are your thoughts on these new tourism guidelines?

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