Cebu prepares to open tourism with strict health, safety rules

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SNORKELING, whale shark watching and diving are among the tourism activities that will be gradually allowed to resume in Cebu, provided health and safety protocols are strictly implemented.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia met with resort owners and town officials of Oslob Wednesday, July 15, 2020, to discuss the guidelines for the resumption of tourism activities.

To prevent transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), resort owners will be required to: purchase disinfecting equipment, install barriers on customer service counters, provide alcohol and sanitizers, and provide water infused with calamansi and honey.

Resort employees and visitors should wear masks and face shields.

Outrigger boats, life vests and other equipment used in whale shark watching should be regularly disinfected.

Sharing of mouthpiece and diving tubes among those snorkeling or diving will not be allowed.

To control arrivals, tourists will be required to first book their preferred activities and pay online at a website that will be launched soon.

Cebu was under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) with strict local action until Wednesday. Under MGCQ, tourism establishments may reopen only up to 50 percent of operating capacity.

Garcia is set to issue an executive order containing the guidelines for the reopening of the tourism industry, after meeting with all stakeholders.

Prior to Oslob, the governor also met with tourism stakeholders of Moalboal and Dalaguete towns.

Consultative meetings are also scheduled in Badian and Alegria as well as on Bantayan Island.

The gradual revival of the tourism industry is seen to jumpstart the economy, which contracted because of the lockdown imposed by the government to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The entire province was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on March 30.

All non-essential businesses were temporarily shut down, public transport systems were suspended and the people, except the essential personnel and those allowed to step out of their homes to procure supplies, were required to stay at home. (ANV)