MANILA - Leisure travel to and from Metro Manila and 4 nearby provinces is still prohibited, the Department of Tourism said Friday, as the so-called NCR Plus remains under the modified enhanced community quarantine.
"As of now, bawal pa 'yong travel from NCR Plus kasi MECQ pa tayo (travel from NCR Plus is still not allowed because we are still under MECQ)," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told Teleradyo.
President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the second strictest quarantine level in the capital region and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal until May 14 as there has been no letup in coronavirus infections.
On Monday, the country's COVID-19 cases soared past the 1-million mark, with over 17,000 people succumbing to the disease.
While leisure travel remains suspended for those in the Greater Manila Area, Puyat noted that tourist destinations under modified general community quarantine — the loosest quarantine restriction — stay open.
"Ang Baguio, Bohol, Siargao, Boracay at Cebu ay tumatanggap pero hindi lang galing sa NCR Plus kasi dito mataas ang cases," she said.
(Baguio, Bohol, Siargao, Boracay and Cebu accept tourists except those coming from NCR Plus because of the high number of cases.)
"Hirap talaga ang restart ng tourism ngayon. Kaya napaka-importante na may dumating na suplay ng vaccines," she added.
(Our tourism [industry] is struggling to restart. That's why it's important that there are vaccines that have arrived.)
The government has included tourism workers under the country's A4 vaccination group. They follow health workers, elderly people and persons with comorbidities.
The government had previously said only authorized persons outside their residences were allowed to travel to and from NCR Plus.