Dive resorts in low-risk areas can reopen — IATF | Inquirer News

Dive resorts in low-risk areas can reopen — IATF

/ 05:04 AM October 10, 2020

DIVERS’ PARADISE Resorts and establishments that line the shores of Mabini, Batangas, known for its diving spots, particularly in the village of Anilao, can now reopen. —INQUIRER PHOTO

Dive establishments and resorts in areas with a low risk of new coronavirus disease transmission may begin accepting recreational divers as guests, as long as they come from similar low-risk areas.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has allowed dive establishments in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) to accept recreational divers as clients.


According to IATF Resolution No. 78 released on Friday, recreational divers seeking to visit dive resorts should also come from areas under GCQ or MGCQ, and may be required to test negative for COVID-19.


“The Department of Tourism (DOT) shall determine localities where interzonal movement for purposes of the same may be permitted, taking into consideration the general preparedness of the area and its impact on the tourism industry, and shall issue the necessary guidelines therefore, which shall include a test-before-travel requirement,” the resolution read.

Coordination required

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the guidelines would be coordinated and consulted with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Philippine National Police and the local governments of the concerned dive establishments.

The decision came after the dive operators in Mabini town, Batangas province, appealed to the IATF to let the underwater sport to resume as a safer, outdoor and noncontact sport amid the pandemic.

Earlier this month, the Resort Owners Association of Mabini lamented the loss of jobs for more than 2,000 resort operators, instructors and boatmen in Anilao, a popular diving spot, since the eruption of Taal Volcano in January and the COVID-19 pandemic since March.

The dive operators wrote to the IATF on Sept. 22 and the DOT on Sept. 29 to ask that scuba diving be allowed to resume as long as minimum health standards are observed.

‘Curated’ tourism

As part of the gradual reopening of the economy, the government slowly eased restrictions on tourism, one of several industries badly affected by the pandemic.


Domestic, “curated” tourism have resumed in Baguio City, Boracay and El Nido, Palawan province, for local tourists who are required to test negative for the virus.

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TAGS: COVID-19, dive resort, Diving, reopen, Tourism

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