DOT lists destinations with no testing requirement

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2021   •   310

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Tourism (DOT) has released a list of destinations that will no longer require the presentation of COVID-19 testing results.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said the DOT has been pushing for lesser restrictions and requirements, especially if the local travel destinations have high vaccination rates among its locals and tourism workers.

As of October 24, destinations that have agreed to the removal of the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and antigen testing are the following:

-Cebu Province
-Lapu-Lapu City
-Catbalogan City

Below are the destinations that require vaccination certificates acquired through VaxCertPH (doh.gov.ph)

-Bohol
-Iloilo City
-Negros Occidental

“We hope that in the months ahead, we will achieve a hundred percent vaccination rate so we can push for a big move for tourism revival,” Puyat said.

DOT welcomes shortened quarantine days for returning Filipinos

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday welcomed the decision of the government’s task force for COVID-19 response to shorten the hotel quarantine period from five days to three days for fully vaccinated overseas Filipinos returning from yellow listed countries.

Malacañang announced earlier in the day that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) fully vaccinated travelers from countries under the yellow list are required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure from the country of origin.

Upon arrival, they shall undergo a three-day facility-based quarantine with testing on the third day but are enjoined to complete self-monitoring up to the 14th day from arrival.

“This latest development will greatly contribute to the on-going recovery of the tourism sector this holiday season while also providing more time to those who want to return home to be with their loved ones in the Philippines,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

The policy, however, states that those without pre-departure testing will be subjected to a facility-based quarantine until the release of the RT-PCR test results taken on the fifth day. With a negative result, the individual will be released for home quarantine until the 10th day.

Unvaccinated travelers shall undergo facility-based quarantine with testing on the seventh day, to be followed by home quarantine up to 14th day upon the release of a negative test result.

The new policy will take effect starting November 22.

Tourism dep’t asks LGUs to simplify entry requirements in tourist spots

Robie de Guzman   •   November 17, 2021

The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday reiterated its call on local government units (LGU) to streamline their travel requirements as more tourist spots reopen to visitors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DOT made the appeal as it raised concerns  over the numerous complaints it monitored concerning delayed processing of visitors’ requirements.

The agency said the reported delays have led to “missed flights and disrupted travel schedules, particularly from leisure travelers applying for entry to the Municipality of Malay that covers the island of Boracay.”

“The DOT has reached out to the concerned LGU and reiterated its position and appeal to streamline and simplify the travel requirements for visitors – a vital component in ensuring the recovery of the island’s tourism industry and workforce that have been severely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” it said in a statement.

The DOT also clarified that the processing of travel requirements for the entry of domestic tourists falls under the jurisdiction of the local government units.

“While the Department understands the challenges and restrictions that hamper the LGUs, it notes the importance of timely facilitation of such requests imposed on the visitors by the LGUs themselves,” it said.

“After all, the pace at which the industry can bounce back from its losses will be largely determined by the policies that will be implemented by the national and local government, and the participation and cooperation of its tourism stakeholders and the traveling public,” it added.

The national government have recently allowed the reopening of more businesses and tourists destinations in the country to spur economic activities amid the declining cases of COVID-19.

Fully vaxxed people visiting Intramuros to get incentives – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday announced it will be granting incentives for fully vaccinated individuals who will visit the tourist site Walled City of Intramuros in Manila.

In a statement, the DOT said the move is part of its efforts to support the country’s vaccination program and to encourage more people to get their COVID-19 jabs.

“From November 15 to 30, 2021, individuals who have completed their vaccination within the same period may enter Fort Santiago free of charge,” the DOT said.

“During this period, fully vaccinated individuals visiting Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego will receive free Beep cards, with a cap of 50 guests per day,” it added.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat hopes that the move will encourage more people to receive their shots, adding that incentives and loosening restrictions for the fully vaccinated will help facilitate travel and help tourism destinations and businesses bounce back faster.

“The Department is doing whatever it can to aid the government’s vaccination program. Granting incentives is one way to encourage the undecided to oblige in this nationwide effort,” Puyat said.

To avail of the incentives, the DOT said guests must present their vaccination card or certificate (with indicative dates) at the entrance gates.

However, the DOT clarified that those who have not yet completed their vaccination may still enter both Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego by paying the P75 entrance fee for regular visitors, and P50 for discounted eligible visitors such as seniors, students and PWDs.

As early as September 14, the DOT announced that 100 percent of IA workers, including its outsourced security and janitorial staff, have been fully vaccinated.

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