DOT: Allow hotels, restos to operate on ‘limited scale’ amid metro quarantine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2020 08:40 PM

The Department of Tourism on Saturday urged local government units in Metro Manila to allow hotels and restaurants to operate on "limited scale" as the "community quarantine" in the metro draws near.

This should also include establishments such as groceries, convenience stores and drugstores, the department said.

Authorities said they plan to enforce a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Metro Manila to limit non-essential movement in the Philippine capital.

The tourism department said these establishments operate beyond the recommended curfew by authorities and they need "sufficient lead time to prepare their personnel as well."

"The DOT is respectfully requesting the LGUs to clarify the guidelines of the curfew so that public and tourism stakeholders are guided accordingly and that the best interests of everyone concerned are considered." it said.

Meanwhile, Abra Rep. Joseph Bernos, chair of the House Committee on Games and Amusement, said casino resorts and hotels should adopt measures to ensure the welfare of their staff.

Bernos proposed to provide travel measures for staff, such as providing transportation from checkpoints to bring employees to company premises, or maintaining a staff house inside company premises to accommodate the workers.

“Given the nature of the industry they are in, we cannot simply request them to halt operations, as prior arrangements with guests have been made. However, the safety of their employees is of paramount concern. Without them, the operations of their establishments will be paralyzed," the lawmaker said in a statement.

"These measures will make it easier to monitor the cases of the staff in casinos, hotels, resorts, and restaurants, who could come in contact with guests possibly having the disease."

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier placed Metro Manila under "community quarantine" following "sustained community transmissions" in the region.

The Department of Health on Saturday added 34 new cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the largest increase of infection in the country, raising the total to 98 with 8 fatalities.