Boracay Lifts Mandatory Swabs Tests for Fully Vaxxed Travelers, More PH Tourist Destinations Follow
The Department of Tourism (DOT) welcomes the announcement of Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores on the decision to waive the RT-PCR test for fully vaccinated tourists as a requirement to enter Boracay starting November 16.
Boracay experienced a dramatic increase in tourist arrivals in the last 2 months, with a total of 32,452 visitors in October.
Boracay/IMAGE from the DOT
They hope to see even more visitors for the months of November and December, given this positive development, and ensure everyone’s safety altogether now that Boracay’s fully vaxxed tourism workers are at 94%, while it’s entire eligible population is at 70% vaccinated.
The DOT, in coordination with National Task Force against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. and Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon, initiated the vaccination program for tourism workers in Boracay last July.
UPDATED LIST OF LOCAL DESTINATIONS
The list of domestic destinations that have waived the COVID-19 test requirement for fully vaccinated visitors is fast growing; an indication that the country’s tourism industry is slowly getting back on its feet.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) made this statement on Saturday (Nov. 13) as it released an updated list of domestic destinations which no longer require negative results of RT-PCR tests for fully vaccinated tourists. These include popular destinations like Baguio, Bohol, Cebu, Clark, Subic, and, starting on November 16, Boracay Island and Guimaras.
In lieu of the RT-PCR test, these destinations require only vaccination cards issued by the Department of Health (DOH) or the local government unit (LGU) where the vaccination was administered.
“With the lifting of the testing requirements for fully vaccinated visitors to these destinations, travel has become more affordable and accessible for domestic tourists, especially with the coming holiday season,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.
However, she reminded tourists to observe minimum health and safety protocols when traveling.
“As we expect more tourists going to Boracay Island, and other destinations that have eased travel requirements for fully vaccinated individuals in the coming weeks, we continue to remind travelers to observe minimum health and safety protocols when visiting the spots,” Puyat said.
Aside from travelers, Puyat also issued a reminder to tourism businesses, workers, and other stakeholders not to be complacent with the easing of domestic travel in order to prevent COVID-19 cases from increasing.
“Seeing how the reopening of tourism all over the country is helping Filipinos return to their jobs, we cannot afford a new surge of COVID-19 infections and a return to the restrictions imposed by a stricter quarantine. Let us do our individual parts to ensure that there will be no outbreaks in our destinations,” she added.
She shared that in Boracay Island alone, the vaccination rate among tourism workers reached 100.2 percent for those who have received the first dose, which means more workers—who were not included in the DOT’s initial target—are now able to return to their jobs.
As of November 13, 2021, the DOT’s list of provinces that accept vaccination cards in lieu of COVID-19 tests for travelers include:
– Nueva Ecija
– Camiguin (starting Nov. 15)
– Oriental Mindoro
– Camarines Norte
– Guimaras (starting Nov. 16)
– Negros Occidental
– Southern Leyte
– Zamboanga del Sur
– Zamboanga Sibugay
– Misamis Oriental
– Cebu Province
Further, the following destinations are also accepting vaccination cards as requirements for travelers:
– Boracay (starting Nov. 16)
– San Vicente, Palawan
– Naga City, Camarines Sur
– Baguio City, Benguet
– Cebu City and Mandaue City
– Clark Freeport Zone
– Subic Bay Freeport Zone
– Dingalan, Aurora
– Maasin City, Leyte
– Ormoc City, Leyte
– Calbayog City, Samar
– Mati, Davao Oriental
Visit app.philippines.travel/articles/domestic-travel-protocols for the latest updates on travel protocols in the country.
Source: Department of Tourism