Want to hit up local tourist destinations around the country? Well, we have some good news. Going around Luzon and the rest of the Philippines just got easier.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) says that a travel pass from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and medical certificate from the LGU health offices are no longer required for travel. The announcement comes after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved the harmonized national travel protocols for land, air, and sea as recommended by the DILG.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the IAFT-EID issued Resolution No. 101 last Friday, approving the streamlined travel protocols. The new protocols were crafted in coordination with the PNP, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, League of Provinces of the Philippines, League of Municipalities of the Philippines, and the League of Cities of the Philippines.
The new protocols apply to all LGUs across the country. Testing is no longer mandatory except if the LGU of destination requires it before travel. Travelers are also not required to undergo facility-based quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms upon arrival at their destination.
“If the LGU of destination requires a test, it shall only require a Reverse-Transcription - Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test and no other. Meaning, LGUs cannot require Antigen tests or rapid tests as test requirements prior to travel,” said Malaya.
Despite relaxing travel protocols, Malaya says LGUs should conduct clinical and exposure assessments at all points of entry and exit. This will ensure that only “asymptomatic, non-close contact individuals” are allowed to travel from one LGU to another.
So yes, going around the country for a quick vacation just got easier. But, that doesn't mean you should be too relaxed. Remember, the virus is still out there, and the infection rates are going up once again. If you plan on traveling and do some local tourism, keep safe and follow minimum health standards at all times.