As quarantine restrictions start to ease up in the country, more and more tourist destinations are beginning to reopen. This is of course under the condition that visitors would undergo the necessary COVID-19 tests and get negative results prior to their arrival.
With the number of people all very excited to finally be able to go on vacation again, authorities are reminding everyone to be mindful of health protocols and practice responsible tourism— a theme that the Department of Tourism (DoT) is pushing for in light of the pandemic. (Read: PH Gets ‘Safe Travels’ Stamp From International Tourism Council)
Just recently, the DoT released its “Have a Safe Trip, Pinas!” video campaign that demonstrates what tourists can and should do while enjoying beautiful sceneries in the Philippines. Shot in the most popular destinations across the country, the campaign showcases Filipino culture and tourism while highlighting the “new normal” of traveling.
“With safety protocols and health standards in place, traveling the Philippines can be safe and still be fun in the new normal,” the caption said. “Get ready to visit your favorite local destination! Have a #SafeTrip, Pinas!”
But what exactly are these safety protocols? My Pope Philippines lists them down, as shown in DoT’s “Have a Safe Trip, Pinas!” campaign. (Read: 3 Things to Remember When Planning Parties Amid the Pandemic)
Tips for Responsible Tourism: Maintain a 2m Distance
We are reminded time and time again to keep a physical distance from others who are not part of our household. This is to help lessen risks of infecting or getting infected by others. Avoid close proximity with others at all costs especially if you are not wearing any protective gear such as face shields or masks at that very moment.
Tips for Responsible Tourism: Wear Face Coverings
It’s a no-brainer that to avoid spread germs and viruses, or inhaling them from other individuals when they sneeze or cough, you should wear protective coverings on your face. The basic requirement in the country is for everyone to wear a face mask (whether cloth or surgical) that covers BOTH the nose and mouth to help curb the spread of the virus.
Face shields are an added layer of protection as well, and are currently required for everyone who goes out in public. (Read: Here Are the Guidelines Set by the IATF for Foreign Entry)
Tips for Responsible Tourism: Check Your Temperature
All establishments and buildings nationwide now have temperature checkers installed at their entrances. Everyone trying to enter a building must have a normal body temperature and not be above 37.5˚C, which already indicates a slight fever. (Read: 5 Prayers for Safe Travel)
That’s because fever is one of the symptoms of COVID-19, and building administration and management have the responsibility of protecting its patrons and avoiding health risks— but it’s also your responsibility to protect others from getting sick.
Tips for Responsible Tourism: Wash Hands and Disinfect Surfaces
A basic practice of good hygiene, washing hands is especially important nowadays given the coronavirus. Viruses and germs can cling onto your skin whenever you hold railings, elevator buttons, or money, which are regularly touched by thousands of people. You never know what kinds of microbes there are on these surfaces so it’s best to get rid of them by washing your hands for 20 seconds (or using alcohol/sanitizer if you don’t have access to soap and water).
And you should also remember to regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces like tables and chairs as these can also be home to thousands of illness-causing bacteria and viruses.
Tips for Responsible Tourism: Use Footbaths
Foot baths are essentially rubber mats soaked with a mixture of water and bleach. It aims to disinfect our shoes as they can also bring bacteria and viruses into our homes, given that we walk around public places where millions have also walked on. (Read: Virus-proof your home with these easy (and affordable!) ways)
Just remember to watch children when in establishments with footbaths— they might get curious and accidentally touch it.