Hotels in GCQ, MGCQ areas now allowed to operate at full capacity

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 21) — Hotels in areas under general community quarantine and modified GCQ can now accept guests at full capacity to allow the tourism industry to recover, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Wednesday.

The decision will be up to the hotel management, DOT stressed.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases issued a resolution last week changing the provision that only allows accommodation establishments in GCQ areas to operate under a skeleton work force.

DOT is set to issue guidelines for the expanded operational capacity of hotels.

The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) expressed excitement over the government's decision to allow the full operation of hotels in areas under GCQ and MGCQ.

"We are waiting for the guidelines to reboost and restart tourism because we badly need the full operations of hotels so the establishments can restart again and employees can go back to work again," Christine Ibarreta, president of HSMA, told CNN Philippines' Rico Hizon on Wednesday night.

Ibarreta assured that hotels are strictly adhering to the implementation of health and safety protocols against COVID-19 since their licenses will be revoked if they did not comply.

She added the rehiring of hotel workers will be done in phases as hotels slowly recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Ibarreta also said she believes Filipinos are ready for staycations, noting a lot of advance reservations have been booked in time for the holidays.

"If they have the money, why not? " she said. "For the past seven months, they have saved much money so they can pay for antigen testing."

Several hotels in the country are currently being used as temporary quarantine facilities, while other hotels have been allowed to accept staycation bookings.

All parts of the country are either under GCQ or MGCQ, except some areas under localized lockdown due to spikes in COVID-19 cases.