14 destinations scrap swab test for fully vaxxed persons

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

October 28, 2021, 12:41 pm

<p><em>(PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)</em></p>

(PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday said 14 destinations across the country have scrapped their swab test requirement for fully vaccinated guests.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat welcomed the latest development, noting that the DOT has been pushing for lesser restrictions and requirements, especially if the local travel destinations have high vaccination rates among their locals and tourism workers.

“We thank the LGUs for this development especially now that the number of tourists is slowly picking up. 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,” she said.

The following destinations have agreed to waive the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and antigen testing as of October 24:

-Cebu province
-Lapu-Lapu City
-Catbalogan City
-Iloilo City
-Negros Occidental
-Clark Freeport Zone (except for those from areas under ECQ)
-Subic Bay Freeport Zone
-Tarlac (for those from areas under ECQ and MECQ)
-Masbate province
-Southern Leyte
-Tacloban City
-Maasin City
-Misamis Oriental

Bohol, Iloilo City and Negros Occidental are also requiring a vaccination certificate generated from vaxcert.doh.gov.ph on top of other travel requirements.

For the remaining destinations, the DOT advised travelers to check directly with the concerned local government unit for other required entry documents.

Meanwhile, Boracay Island still requires a negative RT-PCR swab test result for all allowed tourists, including those from the National Capital Region, except for tourists within Panay Island, including Guimaras province.

Until October 31, no provinces are under the ECQ category while only six areas are classified under MECQ -- Naga City, the provinces of Kalinga, Batanes, Bataan, Zamboanga City and Zamboanga del Norte.

Romulo-Puyat said the DOT would continue to work with the National Task Force Against Covid-19, the LGUs and the private sector to ensure that 100 percent of tourism workers in the country will receive their Covid-19 jabs by December 2021. (PNA)