DoT pushes for easing of travel requirements

The Department of Tourism (DoT) supports the Department of Interior and Local Government’s current efforts to streamline travel entry requirements and procedures being implemented by different local government units. 

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said DoT had long proposed simplifying travel requirements, saying it is “critical in making domestic tourism work.” 

Puyat said, “Streamlining entry requirements will make travelling in the new normal more convenient while also protecting the public’s safety and well-being. This will help in preventing the entry of those who falsify documents by standardizing validation protocols.” 

Based on a recent survey released by DoT, 81% of respondents consider the varying LGU entry requirements as a factor that makes travel “most inconvenient.” 

The survey, conducted by DoT in cooperation with the Asian Institute of Management’s Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism, involved 7,234 respondents from all 78 provinces. 

LGUs usually require from travelers a medical certificate, pre-travel and test-on-arrival COVID tests and 14-day quarantine. 

“At the destinations, some rules that need to be standardized are those that relate to RT-PCR for children/infant, rooming or capacity limits and age restrictions vis-à-vis inter- and intra-regional movement of domestic tourists,” the DoT said. 

The DoT is recommending to make COVID-19 RT-PCR test the standard requirement for entry to a destination, dropping the need for a medical certificate. 

Puyat is pushing for the safe reopening of tourist destinations, allowing the economy to restart and help the tourism workers get back their jobs. 

The DoT chief added, “But we remind our tourists and stakeholders of the need to still strictly ensure minimum health and safety protocols such as wearing of a mask and face shield, physical distancing, hand sanitizing, and booking or operating in DOT accredited establishments, among others to protect both the tourists, tourism workers and the residents of our host communities.” 

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