DOT releases guidelines for holiday staycations as COVID-19 threat remains

Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2020 06:00 PM

DOT releases guidelines for holiday staycations as COVID-19 threat remains 1
The Grand Hyatt Manila began accepting staycation guests last October 9. Sanitation areas are in place, while health declaration forms must be filled out for a staycation guest or a walk-in guest at the restaurant. Grand Hyatt Manila/Handout

MANILA — A safe staycation is possible despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This was the Department of Tourism’s message to Filipinos planning their staycation for the holidays, reminding individuals and establishments to adhere to public health protocols to stem the spread of the coronavirus. 

In an online press briefing Wednesday, Tourism Assistant Secretary Rica Bueno said establishments in areas under general community quarantine could already start accepting guests provided they applied and were issued a Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycation (CAOS). 

But Bueno said not all types of establishments that could apply for the certificate of authority would be issued one. 

In the case of Metro Manila, she said, only hotels with a 4-star rating or higher are allowed to accept staycation guests following the issuance of the CAOS. 

“Sa Metro Manila kaya naka-limit sa 4-star and above, this is the recommendation of the Metro Manila mayors kasi karamihan sa ating quarantine facilities are really lower category… Para hindi maubusan ng inventory for quarantine facility dito sa NCR,” the official explained. 

(In Metro Manila, hotels for staycation must have a 4-star and above rating because we heeded the Metro Manila mayors' advice. They said the region needs hotels as quarantine facilities, and this would ensure the establishments will not run out of inventory.) 

Outside Metro Manila, hotels of 3-star rating and above may accept staycations as the demand for quarantine facilities in these places is not that high, she said. 
 
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Hotels which will be allowed to accept staycation guests may operate at 100 percent capacity provided it is aligned with local government ordinances. 

Bueno said establishments may accept individuals of all ages except those with co-morbidities, or those pregnant and others who are considered at high-risk of contracting COVID-19. 

Guests should also be ready to present a negative antigen test result taken on the same day of check-in. Antigen tests have a faster turnaround time of at least 30 minutes compared to the 24 to 48-hour turnaround time of the RT-PCR test. 

She added that guests must also take note of territorial limitations as well as the number of guests per room.

“Guests may [do] staycation in accommodation establishments located [in the] same region of residence. Mayroong limitations in keeping with physical distancing. Bawal na bawal 'yung magsisiksikan. Mayroong maximum number of people in a guest room depende sa size,” she said.

(Crowding is prohibited. There is a maximum number of people allowed in a room depending on its size.) 

A 20-square meter room can accommodate a maximum of 2 guests coming from the same household. More may be accommodated as the room size gets bigger. A 50-sqm room, meanwhile, can accommodate up to 5 guests. 

Accredited hotels for staycation 

Bueno said there are 14 hotels in Metro Manila and 5 in Batangas that have been authorized to operate for staycations. 

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“Hotels are encouraged to develop staycation packages and they are required to submit every 10th of the month sa aming (in our) office the data of their guests following provision of the data privacy act,” she said. 

The DOT, she said, is in constant coordination with LGUs. She lauded their efforts in accosting those who attempt to present fraudulent RT-PCR test results.

The following is the list of hotels allowed to operate for staycations in Metro Manila: 

  • Grand Hyatt Manila
  • Hyatt Regency Manila, City of Dreams
  • Edsa Shangri-La
  • The Peninsula Manila
  • Aruga by Rockwell
  • Nüwa Hotel City of Dreams
  • Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites Manila
  • Okada Manila
  • Shangri-La The Fort
  • Solaire
  • Hilton
  • Makati Shangri-la
  • Nobu Hotel
  • Sheraton Manila

 Batangas 

  • Club Punta Fuego
  • Pico Sands Hotel
  • Twin Lakes Hotel
  • Acuatico Beach Resort and Hotel
  • Lima Park Hotel
  • Aquaria Water Park and Crusoe Cabins