El Nido still closed to tourists from NCR Plus

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

April 19, 2021, 5:43 pm

<p><em>(Photo courtesy of the El Nido Tourism Office)</em></p>

(Photo courtesy of the El Nido Tourism Office)

MANILA – The municipality of El Nido in Palawan which is famous for its white-sand beaches, hidden lagoons, and other tourist hotspots has reopened its doors to local tourists, except for those from the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus area.

“Those from the NCR Plus bubble are temporarily restricted from entering the Municipality of El Nido. We will post updates when the restrictions have been lifted,” the El Nido Tourism Office said in a Facebook post on Monday.

The NCR Plus bubble includes all cities and the lone municipality of Pateros in NCR, the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal.

While the suspension of entry of tourists from other areas has been lifted, it said interested tourists will be obligated to complete some requirements.

For those traveling to El Nido from outside Palawan for leisure purposes such as island tours, diving, visiting beaches, visiting friends and relatives, among other reasons, it said they are required to have valid identification (ID), and a quick response (QR)-coded tourist ID (QT-ID).

To receive a QT-ID, it said, requires a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test undertaken within the last 72 hours before arrival to El Nido, a hotel booking in a hotel with accreditation from the Department of Tourism (DOT), and a return ticket.

“Those staying for more than seven days shall accomplish an antigen test on their eighth day in El Nido,” it said.

Those who test positive will be required to undergo a seven-day quarantine, with all testing and quarantine costs shouldered by the tourist.

For those going to El Nido from within Palawan, it said they are required to have a valid ID, a QT-ID which only requires a hotel booking, and a negative antigen test result undertaken within the last 24 hours prior to their arrival in El Nido.

These tourists are also required to take another antigen test on their 8th day, with those found positive to undergo mandatory quarantine and testing with costs shouldered by the tourists.

To get a QT-ID, visitors from outside Palawan are advised to visit www.elnidotourism.ph to submit their requirements, while visitors from within Palawan are only required to present a negative antigen test result for inspection at the point of entry at Bobolongan Control Point.

“Use your QT-ID as your clearance for island hopping and for entering the different tourist spots and establishments in El Nido,” it added.

When the pandemic struck in 2020, several tourist spots in the Philippines closed their doors to tourists and have gradually reopened but had intermittent closures after spikes in cases of Covid-19. (PNA)