The Philippines Tourism Department will allow meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) to take place under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) at 50% capacity. This is set up to help the industry and its people recover more efficiently from the ongoing pandemic.
The Guidelines on MICE Operations under the MGCQ
The Secretary-Tourism of the Department, Bernadette Romulo–Puyat, signed the Administrative Order also known as ‘ The guidelines on MICE Operations under the MGCQ’. According to these guidelines, MICE events in areas under enhanced community quarantine(ECQ), general community quarantine(GCQ), and modified ECQ are strictly restricted except those that are conducted through online platforms without physical interaction. The guidelines also state the rules on inter-zonal and intra-zonal movement under the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) shall be maintained. According to IATF rules, people under the age of 21 years and over the age of 60 years are prohibited from engaging in any MICE events, even under the MGCQ.
The Memorandum Circular Guidelines for the operations of MICE
Puyat also signed the health and safety guidelines, the Memorandum Circular, governing the operations of the MICE organizers,the venues, and facilities. She stated: “MICE tourism plays a critical role in our recovery with its innate characteristic to boost the 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 also emphasized, “Similarly, we would like to reiterate that they also need to comply with the applicable issuances of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and other sector-related agencies for compliance with the minimum public health standards.”
The guidelines state that an emergency preparedness plan to be formulated by the MICE organizer to prevent the spread of the infection at the MICE events. Also, an isolated room or area is required to be designated by the venue operators, where people who fell ill during the MICE event can be brought to before referral to medical personnel according to the protocols of the Department of Health(DOH).
It is also required for the seating arrangements for different venues is setup such as the between seats for conference and breakout rooms are at a one-meter distance and the maximum people at a six-foot table are two people. Also, the exhibit layout should have wider aisles than three meters and there shall be no adjacent booths directly facing each other. Further, buffet and self-service are prohibited instead pre-packed individual meals and drinks shall be the standard food packing means throughout the event.