Camiguin, Boracay scrap swab test for fully vaxxed guests

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

November 13, 2021, 7:06 pm

<p>Camiguin Island <em>(Photo courtesy of Camiguin Tourism Facebook)</em></p>

Camiguin Island (Photo courtesy of Camiguin Tourism Facebook)

MANILA – Camiguin and two other destinations are scrapping the swab test requirement for fully vaccinated visitors, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Saturday.

In a statement, the agency said Camiguin will start accepting vaccination cards in lieu of a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test result starting Monday, November 15, while Boracay and Guimaras will implement a similar policy the next day.

As of Saturday, DOT said the following destinations have waived the swab test requirement for fully inoculated guests:
- Tarlac
- Pampanga
- Nueva Ecija
- Batangas
- Oriental Mindoro
- Masbate
- Camarines Norte
- Iloilo
- Negros Occidental
- Bohol
- Southern Leyte
- Zamboanga del Sur
- Zamboanga Sibugay
- Misamis Oriental
- Bulacan
- Cebu Province
- 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

The growing list of domestic destinations easing their entry protocols is an "indication that the country’s tourism industry is slowly getting back on its feet." the DOT said.

"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 Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

She advised tourists to continue observing the 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,” she said.

She likewise reminded tourism businesses, workers, and other stakeholders not to be complacent in order to prevent Covid-19 cases from increasing and sustain the industry's recovery.

“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," she said. "Let us do our individual parts to ensure that there will be no outbreaks in our destinations.” (PNA)