According to the guidelines set by the Department of Tourism (DOT), meetings, conventions, and exhibitions can be held only in areas under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and only at 50% capacity.
On Tuesday, July 14, tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat signed the Administrative Order 2020-003, better known as the Guidelines on MICE Operations under the MGCQ. Based on the guidelines set forth, MICE events in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), modified ECQ, and general community quarantine (GCQ) are strictly prohibited. Exemptions are those conducted through online platforms facilitated without physical interaction.
The guidelines also stressed that the rules on interzonal and intrazonal movement under the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) shall be observed. Persons below 21, and over 60 years old are prohibited from participating in any MICE events, even under MGCQ, in accordance with the IATF rules.
Meanwhile, Puyat, on the same day, signed Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-006 or the Health and Safety Guidelines Governing the Operations of MICE organizers and venues or facilities under the “new normal”.
“MICE tourism plays a critical role in our recovery with its innate characteristic to boost local economy, generate employment and directly benefit tourism entrepreneurs. With these guidelines in place, our stakeholders will be assured that their health and well-being is protected, as we maintain our position as an established MICE destination.”
MICE organizers are required to formulate an emergency preparedness plan to prevent the spread of infection at the MICE event. At the same time, the venue operator is required to designate an isolation room or area where persons who feel unwell while at the MICE event may be brought to before referral to medical personnel, based on the prescribed protocols of the Department of Health (DOH).
Guidelines also require seating arrangements for different venue setups such as the one meter-distance between seats for conference and breakout rooms, and the two person-maximum for each 6-foot table.
Exhibit layout shall have wider aisles than usual, preferably more than three meters. No adjacent booths shall be directly facing each other.
Buffet setup and self-service will be prohibited. Pre-packed individual meals and drinks shall be the standard means of food packaging throughout the event.
“Similarly, we would like to reiterate that they also need to comply with the applicable issuances of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and other sector-related agencies for compliance with the minimum public health standards,” Puyat emphasized.
Please click here for the full text of the Health and Safety Guidelines Governing the Operations of MICE Organizers and Venues or Facilities under the New Normal (https://tinyurl.com/DOTMC2020-006). Meanwhile, the guidelines on MICE Operations under MGCQ may be accessed here (https://tinyurl.com/DOTAO2020-003).