No ‘staycations’ in NCR, 4 provinces during ECQ

AdChoiceTV News — Hotels and other accommodation establishments within Metro Manila and four nearby provinces will see adjustments in operation as the said areas return to the Enhanced Community Quarantine status starting Monday, March 29.

Government on Saturday announced a new lockdown in what it dubbed as “NCR Plus” for at least a week amid record-high coronavirus cases in recent days and with hospitals reaching critical level as well.

Work in hotels is not suspended, but the tourism department on Sunday issued guidelines for the move:

  • Stay-in vacations in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan will no longer be allowed for seven days, starting the first hour of March 29 until midnight of April 4. 
     
  • Guests who already secured accommodation by Sunday midnight may continue their stay, but new bookings will no longer be allowed.
     
  • DOT said it was assured by the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association that guests will be allowed to rebook without penalty, “provided they book directly with the hotels.”

Accommodation establishments are in three categories: isolation facilities for COVID-19 positive guests, quarantine hotels, and regular hotels. 

  • Quarantine hotels will be for persons who will undergo quarantine, and are required to roll out measures to ensure that quarantine guests and health workers will not co-mingle.

    These can be for Filipinos returning from abroad, foreign nationals allowed entry to the country, those unable to quarantine in their homes, and for health workers who need a play to stay near their workplace.
     
  • Regular hotels under ECQ or modified ECQ, meanwhile, can take in only guests with long-term leases, locally stranded individuals, and Authorized Persons Outside of Residence.

The DOT said further that in an ECQ setting, only a skeleton workforce are allowed. In-house staff are supposed to be given free accomodations on site.

RoomXpress COO Nitz Clavecillas told reporters that they will ensure safety of the guest and will comply with DOT’s order. She also instructed reservations team to contact all guest who has a confirmed reservation for March 29 to April 4 and have it rebooked, refund or put it on their eWallet Travel Fund. She also added that they already contacted Booking.com, Agoda.com, Traveloka.com, Hotels.com, Expedia.com, trip.com and all their online platform partner to facilitate the refund.

Regular hotels in areas under GCQ or MGCQ may operate ancillary facilities like dining, but should still follow health protocols.

Reporting by Albert Rovic Tan

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