Philippines optimistic on higher tourism growth with downgrade to Alert Level 1

Manila, Philippines—The Department of Tourism (DOT) welcomes the lowering of the COVID-19 alert level in the National Capital Region (NCR) and various areas across the country to Level 1, noting that this will further boost travel and tourism activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 163-A, the 16 cities and one municipality in the NCR as well as 38 other areas (visit philippines.travel/safetrip) have been downgraded to the lowest alert level system as COVID-19 case transmission over the past few days have been decreasing, and the total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate in hospitals are also low.

“The Department welcomes this development as it not only indicates that we are well on our way to recovery, but is also a testament to the all the work and sacrifices we have made to reach this point,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.

Under the Updated Guidelines on the Nationwide Implementation of Alert Level System for COVID-19 Response, implementation of Alert Level 1, the use of Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage (S-Pass) travel management system is not required for interzonal travel to areas under the same alert level.

“Traveling between places under Alert Level 1 status, such as Baguio, Boracay, Ilocos Region, Aurora, Batanes, Laguna, Puerto Princesa City, Bacolod, Guimaras, Camiguin, and Davao City, is now easier and more convenient. The DOT anticipates with optimism the revival of many tourism jobs and opportunities that were once lost to the pandemic,” the tourism chief emphasized.

While health declaration forms will no longer be required for all agencies and establishments, vaccinated individuals eighteen (18) years old and above” are still required to present proof of full vaccination before entry into any venue for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE); participation in social events such as parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers; and visit to tourist attractions such as libraries, archives, museums, galleries, exhibits, parks, plazas, public gardens, scenic viewpoints or overlooks, and the like.

The same rules apply in mass gatherings or entry into indoor establishments, such as venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as in karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters; indoor ancillary establishments in hotels and other accommodation establishments; and venues for election-related events.

Puyat said that the existing guidelines imposed by local government units (LGUs) with jurisdiction over tourist destinations should be adhered to help in the full restoration of the heavily impacted tourism sector.

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