Been planning a trip to Baguio or the northern provinces of Luzon but can’t go because of the pandemic and community quarantine?
Well, we have some good news. You soon can.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has announced that residents in Luzon, including those in Metro Manila, will be allowed to travel to Ilocos Norte, Baguio City, and Ilocos Sur. Those who plan on visiting Ilocos Norte may do so starting tomorrow, October 20. Heading up to the City of Pines to get away from the heat? You may do so as well starting October 23. Lastly, tourists planning to hit up Vigan and the region of Ilocos Sur will be allowed to do so once again starting November 15.
Unlike before, however, you can’t just head to these locations whenever you feel like it. Depending on where you go, local government units (LGUs) will have different health requirements along with other health and safety protocols before being granted access to the area. For example, those planning to go to Baguio must first register online via their “VIS.I.T.A.” platform. However, one of the requirements, which will likely be standard for all destinations, is the need for a negative RT-PCR test (swab test) result. Then again, if you tested positive, you shouldn't be going out at all.
The opening of local tourist destinations is said to help revive the tourism and travel industry amid the pandemic. Due to the quarantine measures and subsequent pandemic, the local tourism industry has been hit very hard.
It wasn’t mentioned by the DOT whether visitors must secure a travel pass in order to go to their planned tourist destinations. For reference, this was a big issue when Tagaytay City first opened its doors to tourists a few months back when they said travel pass was not required, but the PNP said otherwise.
To give us a better idea of where we can and can’t go for a quick vacation out of Metro Manila, the DOT website has listed down tourist spots around the country which are now open for visitors.
So, all ready to head out of town? Just remember, there is still an ongoing pandemic. If you do plan on going on a trip, always keep safe and follow the health and safety regulations.