Benguet suspends tourism and mass gatherings

NO TOURISTS AT THE MOMENT. Traditional tourist attractions in the Cordillera administrative region, such as the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, remain closed to tourists. The Department of Tourism (DOT) said Tuesday, March 16, 2021 that it is helping tourism players prepare to operate once local government units decide to open their borders to tourists. (ANP archive photo by Liza T. Agoot)

THE TRINIDAD, Benguet: The Provincial Interagency Working Group for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (PIATF-EID) ordered the suspension of tourism, tourism-related activities and mass gatherings as part of the continued efforts of relevant government agencies and the provincial government to contain the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the province.

Governor Melchor Diclas said the suspension of the aforementioned activities will last until the end of September in accordance with the province’s general community quarantine status based on the latest classification of local governments established by the national IATF.

He said city governments should not allow residents and visitors to enter known tourist destinations during this time to help restrict the movement of people and contain the spread of the virus.

The governor stressed that non-essential travel within the province is also prohibited and that those authorized outside the residence with essential travel to Benguet are required to present negative results on the reverse transcription-polymerase chain test or proof that they are fully vaccinated on entry.

While celebrating weddings and holding vigils are allowed, Diclas explained that gatherings should be limited to family members only.

According to the governor, establishments offering catering services will be limited to 20% occupancy while outdoor dining will be allowed up to a maximum capacity of 50%.

The head of the provincial executive also ordered the strict implementation of minimum public health standards in different parts of the province, in addition to ensuring strict border controls to restrict the movement of people within and outside the province.

Diclas urged residents to continue to cooperate with government agencies and provincial and municipal governments in adhering to the strict implementation of existing health and safety protocols so as not to be the source of future increases in cases.

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