Metro Manila’s month-long lockdown, which began yesterday as the government attempts to contain Covid-19, has brought about a domino effect on 41 other destinations in the Philippines.
Among the 41 that have imposed community quarantine in varying degrees and length of time are the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo, Batanes and Ilocos Norte; Puerto Princesa, Coron and El Nido in Palawan; and Siargao in Surigao. The province of Aklan, which includes top tourist draw Boracay, will also impose quarantine.
This effectively halts both international and domestic tourism, with international tourists now left stranded in areas like Palawan as domestic flights have been suspended.
The Department of Tourism is making arrangements to help stranded tourists return home with military planes, while several airlines will also be mounting special flights to and from Puerto Princesa. Air Swift will fly via Clark to Puerto Princesa today and tomorrow; Philippine Airlines will operate flights to Puerto Princesa until March 18; while Air Asia Philippines will operate recovery flights to and from Puerto Princessa over the next few days.
Meanwhile, in Manila, gaming operations have been suspended starting today, leading to City of Dreams Manila halting hotel, restaurant and spa bookings, as well as temporarily closing some restaurants.
Tourist destinations in the city including Sagada, The Walled City of Intramuros, Fort Santiago, Casa Manila, Baluarte de San Diego and Museo de Intramuros are also all closed till further notice.