Hotels told: Follow protocols amid new Covid-19 strains

·2 min read

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 has reminded accommodation establishments operating as temporary quarantine or isolation facilities to ensure guests billeted in their properties abide by the mandatory health protocols such as the RT-PCR swab test and the mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine.

DOT 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano in a regional advisory on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 said the list of countries temporarily flagged due to the new Covid-19 variant was expanded.

“(This is the) updated list of flagged countries and a reminder for accommodation establishments operating as temporary quarantine or isolation facilities to ensure guests billeted in your respective properties, especially those that need to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine, strictly follow quarantine protocols for all arriving international passengers,” the advisory read.

The Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued Resolution 92 dated Jan. 5, 2021, requiring returning Filipino citizens coming from countries/jurisdiction where travel restrictions are in place, or those who have been to such countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, to undergo strict observation of absolute 14 days facility-based quarantine period.

The memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated Dec. 29, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020 regarding the additional measures to be observed relative to the new Covid-19 variant known as B117 detected in the United Kingdom, as well as the Bureau of Immigration advisory dated Jan. 7, 2021, requires all Filipinos arriving in flights from the following flagged countries to undergo a RT-PCR swab test and be subjected to a mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine.

The countries/areas include the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, the United States of America, Portugal, India, Finland ,Norway, Jordan and Brazil.

“Should a guest decide to complete the 14-day quarantine in a local government unit (LGU) quarantine facility, proper coordination must be made between the receiving LGU and Bureau of Quarantine,” the advisory said.

“Moreover, quarantine or isolation facilities are prohibited from accepting guests for staycation, leisure and business, including events and meetings, as per administrative issuances of the DOT,” it added.

The Covid-19 pandemic has stalled the growth of the tourism industry. Just when tourism stakeholders were preparing for the return of tourism this year, the industry is once again threatened by the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant in the UK that has pushed countries around the globe to close their borders.

On Friday, the Philippines added Austria to the list of countries subjected to travel restrictions—this time due to the threat of a Covid-19 variant from South Africa. Until Jan. 15, foreign passengers from this destination are now also prohibited from entering the Philippines. Filipino citizens may enter the Philippines, subject to 14-day quarantine. (JOB)