Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla has reminded tourists of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic following the rise of travelers to Tagaytay this month.
Cavite is one of the areas placed under the modified general community quarantine where tourism and other businesses are allowed to partially reopen, and mass transport to resume operations at limited capacity until September 30.
Remulla issued this reminder in a tweet on Tuesday, September 15.
“The weather in Tagaytay is HIGH RISK for COVID infection. As we continue to battle this pandemic, it is not suitable to do leisure travel at this point in time,” he said.
The weather in Tagaytay is HIGH RISK for COVID infection. As we continue to battle this pandemic, it is not suitable to do leisure travel at this point in time.
— Jonvic Remulla (@jonvicremulla) September 15, 2020
Starting this September, the Tagaytay City government reopened its doors to tourists provided that they observe the minimum health protocols such as physical distancing and wearing face masks and face shields.
In a memorandum issued on September 1, Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino required establishments, including hotels and accommodations, to adhere to the MGCQ guidelines and other health protocols.
Hotels, in particular, are only allowed to operate up to 50% of their capacity and should be accredited by the Department of Tourism.
MEMORANDUM FROM THE CITY MAYORTo: All Establishments, Government and Private Offices, Business Establishments,…
Moreover, Tagaytay City Administrator Gregorio Monreal also stated in a radio interview last September 6 that a travel pass is not required for visitors.
“Sa mga pupunta sa amin ay hindi na namin inoobliga (ang travel pass) ang kailangan lang ay mag-fill out ng health declaration forms,” Monreal said in an interview with dzBB.
He also noted that the local government would not hinder those who wish to visit their city as long as they follow the minimum health standards.
“Yung mga gustong pumunta sa Tagaytay ay hindi natin puwedeng mapigilan, welcome sila sa atin pero kailangan nilang sumunod sa minimum public health standard,” he said.
Influx of leisure trips amid the pandemic
Following the easing of travel restrictions in Tagaytay, some Filipinos started to post photos of their leisure trips, which triggered public alarm on several residents and other concerned Filipinos, citing the ongoing public health crisis.
Over the weekend, some photos posted online showed the heavy traffic situation in the city amid the influx of tourists.
“Filipinos really went to Tagaytay during the pandemic as if we’re not facing a health crisis just because it’s been opened to the public again and it’s so aesthetic,” one user wrote.
“We’re still recording three to four thousand COVID-19 cases per day and people have the audacity to go on a road trip to Tagaytay to unwind,” another wrote.
Another user, meanwhile, questioned the reopening of tourism in Tagaytay and argued that it’s unfair to the residents.
“Tagaytay has fewer positive cases comparing to the other places in cavite tapos io-open na for tourists. It’s unfair for the residents cos it simply means many of us are following protocol other than the other places,” the user said.
In a Laging Handa press briefing on September 14, Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield Commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar clarified that the no-travel pass policy only applies to those coming from Cavite.
Eleazar also reminded the public about the standing rule that only workers and those who are considered “authorized persons outside residence” (APOR) are allowed to travel outside of Metro Manila.
“While it is true na ‘yung Tagaytay, dineclare ng LGU nila na hindi na kailangan ‘yung travel pass pagpasok du’n, ‘yun po ‘yung manggagaling ng Cavite,” he said.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases last week approved “staycations” in areas under GCQ. However, reports said that only overnight stays are allowed in a DOT-accredited accommodation enterprise located in proximity with one’s residence.
Eleazar also mentioned this and stressed that only those living in the same locality or province are allowed to book staycations.
“Kung ‘yung mga hotel na ‘yan, eh, sa Metro Manila, taga-Metro Manila ka… Sa probinsya, taga-du’n ka sa probinsya,” Eleazar said.