DOT hopes to vaccinate all tourism workers before Christmas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 17) — Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat is optimistic that with fresh supplies of COVID-19 vaccines arriving by the latter part of the year, all tourism workers will be protected "before Christmas."

"Goal namin sana as supplies are coming, lahat ng tourism workers [vaccinated] before Christmas," she told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Ngayon.

[Translation: Our goal, as supplies are coming, is to have all tourism workers (vaccinated) before Christmas.]

She said around 50% of tourism workers across the Philippines are now protected against COVID-19.

In Metro Manila alone, she said customers will be assured as 99% of staff in the capital region's hotels are fully vaccinated.

In Baguio City, all tourism workers—including those manning land transportation and tourism sites—have already secured their coronavirus shots, Puyat added.

"Swerte kami dahil walang vaccination hesitancy when it comes to tourism workers," she said. "We won't stop until we vaccinate 100%."

[Translation: We're lucky there's no vaccination hesitancy among tourism workers.]

Puyat also said the department is studying the strategy of the Thai government in opening Phuket Island to fully vaccinated foreign tourists, while also dropping quarantine rules.