Baguio City, Philippines – Baguio City finally re-opens its door for leisure travel for fully vaccinated individuals to spur the economic activity in the city, which has been impacted by the restrictions as a result of the surge of Covid-19 cases.
City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, in a statement to the media on October 19, announced the possibility for the “Summer Capital” to open non-essential travels for vaccinated individuals, which was pursued October 25, subject to guidelines.
“Hopefully our reopening will spur economic activity in our city, which had almost been nil for the past two months because of the restrictions that we imposed to manage the cases,” Magalong told the media on Monday, October 25.
Magalong informed that a downtrend for COVID-19 cases in the city has been observed for the past days, making them decide to ease up restriction, but still with caution.
At present, Magalong said new cases are observed to have decreased, while death cases and moderate-to-severe cases have remained high. However, a downtrend is expected within this week. Utilization rates for hospitals, isolation facility and oxygen are now better.
“It has not been easy, but as we have been doing since the pandemic started, we will continue to strike a balance between managing our cases and giving premium to the health and safety of our constituents on the one hand and keeping our economy afloat and sustaining the people's livelihood on the other,” Magalong said.
In connection, the Baguio City Tourism Office announced Tuesday, October 26 the requirements needed before entry to the city, the VISITA registration, proof of being fully vaccinated, and submitting themselves to the triage area upon arrival to Baguio.
For the VISITA registration, visitors are encouraged to create an account via visita.baguio.gov.ph, with their valid ID. If already has an account, visitors are required to schedule a visit at least a day before their travel.
The city tourism office said they will only allow 2,000 individual registrations following an ETA reservation system.
Unvaccinated adults shall not be allowed entry to the city while unvaccinated or partially vaccinated minors ages 12 to 17 must present negative results of Antigen or RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours prior to arrival or during health screening at the City Triage.
Minors aged 11 and below shall be tested at the option of their accompanying parents or adult guardian.
Triage upon arrival
After passing the checkpoint, tourists are instructed to proceed to the triage for health screening and verification of QTP and documents.
For symptomatic visitors, regardless of vaccination status or test result, Baguio City Tourism said they will be immediately tested and isolated, and referred to health officials for further action and advice prior to visitor’s return to point of origin.
When in the city, travelers are expected to always follow minimum health and safety protocols, wear masks and observe distancing at all times, observe existing city laws such as no littering, no smoking, vehicle number coding within CBD, and others.
Added to this, visitors are told to stay in accommodation establishments listed in Baguio VISITA, and enter business establishments with Safety Seal issued by the city government.
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