Tim Yap apologizes for health protocol breaches in viral birthday party videos

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) – Filipino entertainment personality Tim Yap apologized for the health protocol violations during his birthday party as seen on videos that went viral on social media.

"I am very, very sorry for those videos that came out where we didn't wear our masks. There's no excuse for not wearing your masks. We have to be at all times vigilant and take care of each other," said Yap in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Final Word on Tuesday. "It is not in any of my wishes to endanger anyone."

Yap threw a birthday party in a Baguio City hotel last January 17, despite being covered by mass gathering restrictions since the city is under modified general community quarantine or MGCQ.

According to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 88, mass gatherings in MGCQ areas "such as but not limited to, movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities, religious services, and work conferences shall be allowed provided that participants shall be limited to 50% of the seating or venue capacity."

Previous government guidelines mandate the observance of minimum public health standards in such social gatherings.

Yap explained that a cultural dance suddenly happened as guests were about to start dinner. He admitted he and the guests got "carried away" so they began to dance, as shown in the viral videos.

He maintained the guests were tested prior to the party and entering Baguio City, owing to the local government's requirement of having a negative swab test result before being allowed to enter the city.

"It wasn't in our intention to defy any safety protocols. Everybody is COVID negative in our room," Yap said.

The Filipino host added that before the party, the guests were given face masks and shields and personal protective equipment to show they are adhering to minimum health standards.

"Every activity was supervised. Contact tracing measures are also followed," Yap said.

The Department of Tourism Cordillera Administrative Region office is now investigating what really transpired in Yap's party.

"The DOT Cordillera Administrative Region is currently investigating the reported party at a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment in Baguio City. A Notice to Explain has already been issued to the establishment," the agency said in a statement.