Cebu hotels may find business opportunity in expanded quarantine protocol

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | March 16,2020 - 05:36 PM
The world-class Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2.

All passengers arriving from any foreign country is now required to undergo mandatory quarantine. | CDN FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines  — The Cebu provincial government’s move to expand the coverage of its mandatory 14-day quarantine to all arriving passengers from any country may be an opportunity for the local hotel industry to recover.

This as foreigners arriving in Cebu shall be quarantined in identified hotels to their own expense starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020 .

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said at least two hotels in Lapu-Lapu City have already been identified to host the quarantined passengers.

Garcia said she intends to ask the Hotels Resorts and Restaurants Association of Cebu (HRRAC) if their member hotels will also be open to accommodating the foreign arrivals.

“I intend to talk with the HRRAC because with the closing of our ports and seaports, we see an even more drastic decline in the bookings of the hotels. The continued arrival of foreigners here, because we cannot ban their entry, could be regarded as possible business for them,” Garcia said in a press conference on Monday, March 16, 2020.

Read: Employment lay off possible as tourism industry in Cebu suffers due to coronavirus scare

Read: Cebu expands quarantine protocols to all int’l arrivals

“There continues to be a clear and present danger presented by the COVID-19 that warrants an immediate need for the implementation of stricter measures to prevent its entry into Cebu while establishing protocols for the quarantine of all persons coming from any foreign country,” Garcia said in her Executive Order no. 5-J.

Garcia issued the EO on Sunday evening, March 15.

Based on Garcia’s EO, Filipinos arriving from foreign countries shall be placed under home quarantine while foreigners shall undergo mandatory quarantine at designated quarantine facilities “at their own expense.”

“The airlines will be able to send advisories also to their outports kung asa ang port of departure that they will be advised that upon arrival[in Mactan Cebu International Airport], the passengers coming from any country, if he is not a filipino or a permanent resident visa holder, will be quarantined in our identified quarantine hotels but this will be to the account of the passenger,” Garcia said.

Garcia said the hoteliers may open a floor dedicated for the foreign arrivals.

“Total quarantine man ni, di man ni buot pasabot nga masakiton na ni. (Anyway, this is just a quarantine. It doesn’t mean they are sick.) We should not attach the same stigma to quarantine as to one who is really positive with the coronavirus,” Garcia added.

The hotel industry has been one of the most affected since the coronavirus scare started. /bmjo

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TAGS: Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19, mandatory quarantine

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