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Hotel Staycations Are Now Allowed in GCQ Areas, Here Are The Rules

Yes, including Metro Manila.
by Joel Guinto
Oct 1, 2020
Photo/s: Pixabay / davidlee770924

The Department of Tourism late on Wednesday released staycation rules  for hotels and inns in GCQ or general community quarantine. Metro Manila is under GCQ, the second lowest COVID-19 quarantine, until Oct. 31, while nearly the rest of the country is under the lowest, MGCQ.

The guidelines are effective "immediately and shall remain effective until otherwise superseded, amended, or repealed accordingly," the DOT said. Also on Thursday, Oct. 1, Boracay reopened to tourists. These apply only to GCQ areas. Aside from Metro Manila, Batangas province and the cities of Tacloban, Iloilo, Bacolod and Iligan are also under GCQ.

Metro Manila Stays Under GCQ in October, What Does This Mean? 

Where can I book a staycation?

Hotels, resorts, apartment hotels, mabuhay accommodation establishments and homestays that secure a Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycations from the DOT. Areas under the two highest quarantines, ECQ and MECQ can't offer staycations.

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The establishment must not be used concurrently as an isolation facility for returning overseas Filipino workers or quarters for health workers. They also must have a 4 or 5 star rating from the DOT. They should also comply with local government rules in their respective areas.

Hotes are "highly encouraged" to promote staycation packages.

Who can book a staycation?

"Individuals of all ages," according to the DOT, except those who are pregnant or have co-morbidities. They must reside in the same province where the hotel is located (Metro Manila is considered a province). A government or company ID with address will qualify as proof of residence.

Guests must present a negative rapid anti-gen test on the same day of check-in. An antigen test is less reliable than the RT-PCR or swab test but is more reliable than the blood-based rapid antibody test. It's in between, and also faster and cheaper than the RT-PCR. It has also been cleared for use to screen travelers.

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How many can stay in one room?

Guests per room are capped depending on the size. One person or two from the same household for rooms up to 20 sqm; two persons for 21 to 29 sqm, 3 persons for 30 to 39 sqm, 4 persons for 40 to 49 sqm and 5 persons for 50 sqm and larger.

What can I do inside the hotel?

Hotels that secure staycation permits can also open the following establishments: restaurants and other food and beverage outlets (excluding bars), gyms and swimming pools.

Be sure to bring your digital wallets and cards as cashless and contactless payments are encouraged. According to the DOT rules, "minimal physical contact is mandatory."

Are there more requirements for hotels?

Accomodation establishments must submit occupancy data every 10th day of the month to the DOT. They must follow existing safety rules from the Department of Health, Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 and local governments.

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Failure to comply could result in the revocation of their DOT accreditation.

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