Further loosening restrictions in the country, the Philippine government is now allowing travel between areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
This means that people from Metro Manila can now visit other provinces as long as they are not under lockdown (enhanced community quarantine or modified enhanced community quarantine), and vice versa.
"The interzonal movement of persons not authorized outside of residences (non-APOR) between areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for any purpose shall be permitted, subject to the reasonable regulations imposed by the LGU concerned," said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque on Friday, October 16.
The decision was formalized during the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases meeting on Thursday.
Previously, only APORs could travel to another province. For this reason, tourism was limited to "staycations," where people could only book an accommodation for leisure purposes within their province.
With the relaxed rules, people from Metro Manila can now pursue tourism activities even outside the capital region. But they may still face restrictions, depending on the local government units of their destination.
It will still be up to local government units to impose requirements on visitors to protect their cities or provinces from COVID-19. Before the new rule, visitors had to show medical certificates, barangay health certificates, or a travel pass in order to enter.
In the case of tourism hotspot Boracay Island, the requirements for tourists are imposed by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force.
The Department of Trade and Industry is also allowing travel agencies, tour opreators, reservation services, and related activities to operate at 50% capacity in GCQ areas and 100% capacity in MGCQ areas.
Its Memorandum Circular No 20-53, released on Friday, said these industries have been moved from the restrictive Category IV list of industries, to Category III.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.