Just stay home! DOT bans staycations in NCR Plus bubble during ECQ

Hotels and resorts looking forward to cashing in on Holy Week bookings should brace for losses, no thanks to the declaration of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Sunday (March 28) that no staycations will be allowed in the areas within the so-called NCR Plus bubble while the ECQ is in place from March 29 to April 4. However, tourists who have existing bookings can proceed with their vacation.

“Guests who are already billeted in these establishments by midnight on Sunday may continue to stay for the duration of their original booking. However, no new bookings will be allowed for the week,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

Hotels are ordered to allow the rebooking of cancelled stays without penalties until the rules allow staycations and similar trips again.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the one-week ECQ in the NCR Plus bubble in a bid to slow down the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. On Saturday (March 27), the Department of Health recorded 9,595 new COVID-19 cases.

The ECQ is the strictest form of lockdown, with people banned from leaving their homes unless it is for essential activities like buying groceries or going to the hospital. Public transportation will be available but in a limited capacity.

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