CITY OF SAN FERNANDO The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Monday announced the issuance of Memorandum Circular 2023-0002 easing the rules on wearing face masks and showing full vaccination cards in tourism sites, plus other guidelines "relaxing" Covid-19 health and safety protocols in tourist establishments.

DOT Secretary Christina Frasco said Memorandum Circular 2023-0002 aims to boost economic recovery through tourism.

This, as the country continues to open tourist spots for both foreign and local visitors.

"This reinforces the DOT's promise of addressing the economic challenges of the tourism industry brought about by the pandemic. This [Memorandum Circular 2023-0002] sends the important message across that our country is open for tourism, and that we are keeping up with global practices on tourism operations already open worldwide," she said.

Under the memorandum circular, Frasco said the DOT has lifted the earlier requirement for tourism establishments to install plastic, acrylic barriers and dividers in designated areas, removal of all graphical signage and other posters or billboards on mandatory Covid-19 protocols.

"The DOT would also no longer issue the PH Safety Seal and the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels Stamp to tourism establishments which are compliant with the government’s safety seal certification program. Accommodation establishments will no longer need to include the number, nature of work, and length of stay of permitted guests, as well as names of companies or businesses with employees that are booked with the establishment," she said.

The Department of Health (DOH) still encourages the public, especially unvaccinated individuals, those with health conditions, and the elderly to continue wearing face masks.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s earlier issued executive order allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in public transportation and medical facilities as a guard versus Covid-19.