Cops reminded: Closely monitor reopening tourist sites, leisure areas

Cops reminded: Closely monitor reopening tourist sites, leisure areas

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police reminded its units Monday to keep watch of local tourist destinations for any mass gatherings that might take place.

With the shift back into a "stricter" general community quarantine, a number of tourist and leisure sites are set to reopen.

In a statement sent to reporters, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said that people have already started visiting outdoor tourist attractions allowed to operate at 30% capacity over the weekend.

“We are already expecting more people to leave because there have been adjustments in the allowed capacity rates of our business establishments and leisure areas. This is what we have prepared for and will closely monitor,” he said, reminding police units to be on the lookout for violations of minimum public health safety protocols and to coordinate closely with local government units in securing tourist attractions and leisure spots.

To recall, last week saw the closure of the Gubat sa Ciudad resort in Brgy. Bagumbong, Caloocan City after photos of the resort's operations despite the community quarantine went viral on social media. A barangay captain and a station commander have since been sacked from their positions due to the mass gathering.

Eleazar reminded the public that unless specifically accredited or authorized by the Department of Tourism, for permitted leisure activities, they will not be allowed to cross the NCR Plus bubble borders.

“We ask our kababayan within the NCR Plus to restrict their travel within the Bubble. For those outside of the bubble, please do not try to force your way inside unless your purpose is essential travel,” he said in Filipino.

"If you can't avoid going out, remember to always wear your face masks and face shields and observe physical distancing," he also said, adding that more transmissible variants of the coronavirus have already been reported inside the country.

He also reminded the management of businesses allowed to operate, including tourist spots and leisure areas, to strictly abide by the IATF guidelines on capacity rates and impose minimum health safety protocols on their patrons.

To date, the Philippines has recorded 1.15 million coronavirus infections, 54,235 of whom are still active cases.

“Although we understand that our compatriots are eager to leave their homes, we just want to warn that we may take longer in this situation if we violate the IATF guidelines and do not comply with the minimum health safety protocols," the police chief said.

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