Itching to travel? We highly recommend that you stay at home for the time being while the country is still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. But, if you really want to explore places again, these are the Philippine destinations that have reopened their doors for tourists under the community quarantine. There are strict requirements and protocols so traveling now is not as easy as before.
For your own safety, please make sure that you only avail tour packages and accommodations from the Department of Tourism (DOT) Accredited entity. Make sure to follow the health standards and protocols set by the government. Wear a facemask properly all the time when you are in public places. Do not forget to comply with the social and physical distancing measures to protect you and the people around you from the virus.
Philippine Destinations that Have Reopened for Tourists
Boracay has reopened its doors for tourists since September. The island started accepting tourists from Western Visayas and after few weeks it allowed visitors from all over the country. There are now flights from Manila to Caticlan, the gateway to the gorgeous island of Boracay. You can book your ticket here.
The requirements for tourists who plan to visit Boaracay are:
- Access https://www.touristboracay.com/ and choose Boracay on the Where To page.
- Fill out the form with the required information and click submit.
- Confirmed hotel or resort booking on the island. You may refer to this post for the list of DOT-Accredited Hotels in Boracay under Community Quarantine.
- Negative RT-PCR test within 48 hours prior to the departure date.
- Email a copy of your Health Declaration Card (HDC), RT-PCR test result, confirmed booking slip, and proof of identification to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- As soon as the processing is successful, a copy of the HDC with Tourist QR code will be sent back to you via email.
- Present the HDC with QR code to the authorities in the borders for scanning.
UPDATED ENTRY PROTOCOLS FOR TOURISTS (July 2021)
Baguio City now accepts FULLY VACCINATED (at least 2 weeks after the second dose) TOURISTS with VALID CARD OR CERTIFICATE, as an alternate to a Negative COVID-19 Test Result.
- must pre-register at visita.baguio.gov.ph
- no QTP, no entry!
- triage is mandatory upon arrival
- allowed for all ages but only those from GCQ and MGCQ areas
- strictly observe health protocols while in the city
Planing to visit Baguio? Here are the guidelines and travel requirements:
- Arrange a travel package from a DOT-Accredited Tour Operator. The list is provided below for your reference.
- Book your accommodation from a DOT-Accredited hotel. [List of Accredited Hotels]
- Have yourself tested. RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen tests must be done not more than 72 hours prior to your travel. The test result is only valid for a 5-day itinerary. Alternatively, you may also get tested for the Rapid Antigen test upon arrival at the City Tourist Triage for a fee.
- Register and create a Baguio VISITA account at visita.baguio.gov.ph. Prepare to upload a copy of your government-issued ID and photo.
- Schedule a visit and fill out the online Health Declaration Questionnaire with your VISITA account. Prepare to upload a copy of the following:
- Confirmed itinerary issued by a tour/travel agent
- Receipt of accommodation booking
- Recent COVID-19 test certificate with negative result issued by an accredited testing laboratory
- If you opt for a test upon arrival, download and fill out the consent and test form and bring it to the triage.
- Wait for an email confirmation, and save or print your QR-coded Tourist Pass (QTP).
- During travel, stops are only allowed in designated DOT accredited restaurants and gas stations within BLUPISIN (Baguio, La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte). As much as possible, stops are highly discouraged.
- Entry access to Baguio City will only be allowed via Naguilian Road or Palispis (Marcos) Highway. Please note that stopovers are NOT allowed along the two highway roads.
- Present QTP and documents at the border checkpoint.
- Proceed to the Tourist Triage at CAP Convention Center in Camp John Hay.
- Present QTP at triage window for an interview and validation of health declaration
- If the test upon arrival was opted, present consent and test form and pay for the testing fee.
- When cleared, proceed to the pre-booked accommodation.
- Follow the itinerary as assisted by a tour guide. Any modification to the itinerary must be consulted and approved by the tour operator. Digital check-in and check-out must be done in all sites and establishments visited.
- Upon leaving Baguio City, follow your own LGU’s re-entry protocols. It may include triaging, testing, or mandatory quarantine.
UPDATE: Starting October 22, Baguio City will be opening its doors to tourists from Luzon, particularly from NCR, Region 2, and 3.
Like Baguio City, Ilocos Norte has also reopened to visitors from the Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor composed of Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, and Baguio City starting October 1, 2020. Only 50 tourists are allowed per day. Below are the steps to follow if you are visiting Ilocos as a tourist and the documents required.
- confirmed accommodation booking
- a travel agent or operator for tours
- confirmed tour itinerary
- medical certificate
- most recent COVID-19 test result
Step-by step process for visitors going to Ilocos Norte
- Plan your visit to Ilocos Norte with an accredited travel agent or tour operator.
- Book your stay ONLY at accredited accommodation establishments.
- Get Tested. RT-PCR Test must be taken within 48 hours prior to arrival. Alternatively, you may also schedule your Rapid Antigen Test to be taken at the Pinili Visitor Center upon arrival.
- Pre-register your travel at ilocosnorte.ph.
- Request a SafePass Entry account at request.safp.as or via SafePass Portal on Facebook Messenger. Save or print a copy of your QR Code from SafePass as this will serve as your digital pass at gateway checkpoints.
- Bring all your original documents for verification.
- Stop are discouraged but you may do so if needed only at DOT pit stops.
The travel requirements for tourists visiting Ilocos Sur are pretty much the same with Ilocos Norte. The province will only accommodate 50 tourists at a time. Entry access to Ilocos Sur will only be at Tagudin and Sinait borders.
A tour itinerary must be coursed through a DOT-Accredited travel agency or tour operator.
UPDATE: Starting November 15, 2020, Ilocos Sur will reopen to more tourists from other parts of Luzon. We will update this post once we get more details.
Pangasinan and La Union
Pangasinan and La Union are also part of the Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor and are also open for tourists from Region 1 and Baguio City. The travel requirements are pretty much the same with Ilocos and Baguio. You may email the La Union Tourism office at email@example.com or the Pangasinan Tourism office at firstname.lastname@example.org for your inquiries.
The province of Davao Oriental has already opened its doors for tourists within the region as early as September 2020 under the community quarantine.
If you are visiting the provincial ecoparks, you must coordinate with the provincial tourism office by contacting Ms. Lyrna Padohinog at 09668854985 or at 09105676414.
The provincial government has also recently announced that a prior hotel booking is needed is required to be able to enter the province.
Island Garden City of Samal
Samal like Davao Oriental has also opened its doors for tourists from the region. You will need a QR code to enter the island so you must book a hotel/resort in advance so they can arrange for your Samal QR code.
Residents of Davao del Norte can enter Samal using the DDN QR plus a valid government-issued ID.
For the accredited resorts, check this list: Resorts in Samal That Are Allowed to Operate under Community Quarantine
For inquiries, you may contact the City Investment and Tourism Office (CITO) at: 09165234644; 09663053108; 09610806407
Bohol has recently opened its door to tourists. Here are the guidelines and requirements if you plan to visit Bohol.
- Pre-register your intent to visit Bohol by visiting https://tourism.bohol.gov.ph/. Confirmation will be sent via email.
- You must have a negative result on an RT-PCR test taken at least 72 hours before going to Bohol.
- Book an accredited resort or hotel for your stay. We have compiled a list of the DOT-Accredited Hotels and Resorts in Bohol allowed to operate under the community quarantine.
- Book a pre-arranged tour if you plan to explore Bohol.
- A visit of 5 days or less requires NO quarantine.
- Stay of more than 6 days requires tourists to undergo a repeat RT-PCR test on the fifth day.
- Those who test negative will be allowed to go out of the hotel
- Those who test positive will be brought to an isolation facility where they will be quarantined for 14 days. The costs of the quarantine and swab test will be shouldered by the tourist.
- Strictly follow the health and safety protocols
Siargao Island and rest of Surigao del Norte
The province of Surigao del Norte including Siargao has recently opened its borders to tourists. Here is the list of requirements when entering the province:
- Negative RT-PCR test or Saliva test result taken within 48 hours prior to the date of arrival in Surigao del Norte (Surigao Airport or Siargao Airport).
- A valid identification card. Filled-out Surigao del Norte e-Health pass which can be accessed at covid19.ssct.edu.ph/healthform.
- Confirmed booking of accommodation for at least 2 nights from a DOT-accredited hotel, resort, or hostel.
Tourists who are arriving via seaports will need to present the same requirements.
You may get in touch with the Provincial Tourism Office at 0963-8906838 or at 0927-2818555
The municipality of Coron is now open for domestic tourists. The travel requirements are listed below:
- RT-PCR test taken 48 to 72 hours prior to travel to Coron.
- A confirmed booking at DOT-accredited accommodation. You check the DOT-Accredited accommodation in Coron here.
- Booked tours with DOT-accredited travel operators only
- Copy of your Coron itinerary
- QR Registration – click here to register
- Round-trip tickets
In order to visit El Nido, you need to get a QR-Coded Tourist ID from El Nido Tourism Office. The requirements to get the QR code are listed below.
- A health declaration form
- A negative RT-PCR swab test result taken within the last 48 hours before the flight to El Nido
- Booked accommodation from a DOT-accredited hotel or resort. You check the DOT-Accredited hotels and resorts in El Nido HERE.
- A travel itinerary booked through a local travel agency in El Nido
Once you have all the required documents, you may apply for the QR-Coded Tourist ID here.
Did we miss something? Are there any destinations that have reopened for tourists? Let us know in the comment section below so we can add them!
STAY SAFE, ALWAYS!
Glen Nomad is a travel blogger and the founder of Escape Manila, one of the top travel blogs in the Philippines. He has visited all 82 provinces in the Philippines and has explored 53 countries across Asia, North & South America, East Africa, Europe, and Australia. Follow him on IG at @escapemanila