The Department of Tourism (DOT) said meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) can be held in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) but only at 50-percent capacity.

According to the guidelines for MICE operations dated July 14, physical events in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), modified ECQ, and general community quarantine (GCQ) remain “strictly prohibited”.

The guidelines said the rules on interzonal and intrazonal movement under the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) shall be observed.

Persons below 21 and over 60 years old are prohibited from participating in any MICE events, even under MGCQ, in accordance with the IATF rules.

In releasing the “new normal” guidelines for MICE, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat underscored the sector’s role in the eventual recovery of the tourism industry in the Philippines.

“MICE tourism plays a critical role in our recovery with its innate characteristic to boost local economy, generate employment and directly benefit tourism entrepreneurs. With these guidelines in place, our stakeholders will be assured that their health and well-being is protected, as we maintain our position as an established MICE destination,” she said.

Romulo-Puyat also signed on July 14 Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-006, or the Health and Safety Guidelines Governing the Operations of MICE organizers and venues or facilities.

Under said guidelines, MICE organizers are required to formulate an emergency preparedness plan to prevent the spread of infection at any MICE event.

It directed the designation of an isolation room or area where persons who feel unwell while at the MICE event may be brought to before referral to medical personnel.

The guidelines also required seating arrangements for different venue setups, such as the one-meter distance between seats for conference and breakout rooms, and the two person maximum for each six-foot table.

Exhibit layout is required to have wider aisles than usual, preferably more than three meters. No adjacent booths shall be directly facing each other.

Meanwhile, buffet setup and self-service will remain prohibited.

According to DOT, pre-packed individual meals and drinks should be the standard means of food packaging throughout the event. (PNA)


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