Baguio is set to welcome as many as 200 tourists daily starting September 22, as its local government releases its health and quarantine protocols for visitors.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier said Baguio, La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur would join the “tourism bubble.”
Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier said Baguio needed to reopen to tourists to boost its economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Magalong said the city’s tourism industry already lost P1.7 billion in revenue since the lockdown was imposed in March.
He added the loss would reach P4 billion if they do not open until the end of 2020.
The experimental “ridge and reef” travel program or RnR would allow Baguio to receive tourists from the Ilocos region provided that visitors are clear of COVID-10 and do not have underlying medical conditions such as lung disabilities o diabetes.
Tourists who would like to go to the Summer Capital should first fill out a health declaration form online via the local government’s website at hdf.baguio.gov.ph.
Visitors would need their provide personal information, the intention of their trip, contact person in the city, the vehicle that they will use, destination, photo, and travel clearance.
Baguio allows 200 tourists daily starting Sept.22
The local government unit will then evaluate the form and will contact the tourists if their registration is approved.
Authorities also set up checkpoints with triage areas at the city’s borders.
At the first triage, tourists will need to provide the reference number of the health declaration form upon entry.
They would then proceed to the second triage at Teacher’s Camp to undergo a temperature check and present a medical certificate.
A nurse would also interview for the tourists’ health evaluation.
Aside from the screening, the tourists are also mandated to book hotel accommodation and undergo a COVID-19 test while in there. They will only be allowed to go around the city if the test result is negative.
As of September 17, the Philippines has 69,344 active cases of COVID-19 with 207,858 recoveries and 4,732 deaths.