GUIDE: 8 Philippine Destinations Now Open for Travel in 2021

Here are the requirements and guidelines you'll need for your out-of-town adventures this year!

This pandemic had hit a lot of industries since the lockdown began last year. Now in 2021, more and more businesses and industries are trying to get back up, including our tourism sector. And the best way we can help the businesses and people dependent on our tourism sector is, of course, to travel!

If you’re looking forward to your domestic travels this 2021, here’s a list to help you out. Below are some of the top destinations in the Philippines and their safety guidelines according to the Department of Tourism (DOT), so you can already start planning your next vacation!

Needless to say, wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing, and frequent hand sanitation must be observed throughout your travels.

Tourist Destinations
Baguio City
Batangas
Bohol
Boracay
Coron
El Nido
Ilocos Norte
Ilocos Sur

Baguio City

Photos: Department of Tourism website

Who can travel?

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  • All tourists from entire Luzon.
  • All ages as long as they do not have any underlying health conditions, no COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 patients, and are not pregnant.
  • All local tourists with Baguio VISITA account.
  • All tourists with approved travel booking from DOT-accredited tour operator/agent and with issued and saved QR-coded Tourist Pass (QTP).

Travel procedures:

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  1. Book your transportation and accommodation, and arrange your itinerary with DOT-accredited establishments, hotels, and travel or tour agencies with Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO).
  2. Undergo COVID-19 testing at accredited testing centers from your point of origin. The test must be taken 48 to 72 hours prior to travel, and another one after 6 days. Testing on-site upon arrival remains an option for those with an affidavit of undertaking.
  3. Register at the Online Visitors Registration System (OVRS) of your destination’s LGU and upload your Government-issued ID and current photo.
  4. Schedule your visit, register travel details, health declaration form, and COVID-19 test result via the same OVRS. You may also opt to include your Confirmed Itinerary from your tour operator and accommodation booking receipt.
  5. Register your visit through Baguio VISITA online and upload the following: valid ID, current photo, confirmed itinerary and accommodation booking, and COVID-19 test result.
  6. Once requirements are met, you will receive your unique QTP via email. This will be your Health Declaration ID and travel pass. Always bring your printed e-copies of required documents and your QTP when traveling.
  7. Enter Baguio through Naguilian Road or Marcos Highway and proceed to Baguio Convention Center for triage.
  8. Proceed to your hotel and be sure to stick to your declared itinerary during your Baguio visit.

For more details on the travel guidelines of Baguio City and for a list of DOT-accredited establishments, click here.

Batangas

Lima Park Hotel in Batangas

Who can travel?

  • For recreational diving, only travelers with a negative RT-PCR test result for COVID-19 and are coming from GCQ and MGCQ areas are allowed.
  • For staycations in accommodation establishments, only local residents of Batangas with a negative Rapid Antigen Test result are allowed.
  • There are no age restrictions, but pregnant women and people with comorbidities will not be allowed.

Travel procedures (for recreational diving):

  1. Pre-book and dive only at establishments accredited by the DOT and Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving with Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO).
  2. Submit your negative RT-PCR test result not later than 48 hours prior to your arrival in the dive establishment. Be sure to observe a strict quarantine after having the test until your date of travel.
  3. Fill out and submit the Health Declaration Form online and other necessary documents required by the establishment prior to your scheduled booking.
  4. Once you get your tourist QR code, print a copy or save a digital copy on your phone. This will be used in accessing services such as online payments and other contactless transactions during your stay.
  5. You are encouraged to bring your own SCUBA equipment instead of renting from the establishment.
  6. You are also encouraged to secure travel insurance with medical coverage and diving insurance.

For staycations:

  1. Guests can only stay in accommodations located in the same province as their residence.
  2. Take a COVID-19 test 48 to 72 hours prior to travel, then another one on the 6th day, especially if you are staying longer.
  3. Present your negative result of Rapid Antigen Test the same day of your check-in at the accommodating establishment of your choice.

For a list of open dive spots accredited by DOT and PCSSD, and more information on the travel guidelines of Batangas, click here.

Bohol

Photos: Department of Tourism website

Who can travel?

There are no age limits but people with comorbidities will still be restricted.

Travel procedures:

  1. Prepare your negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to the date of your flight. If there are last-minute changes in flight schedule, tourists may opt to be swabbed upon arrival in Bohol and undergo strict quarantine until the negative result has been released.
  2. Visit and register at the Bohol website to get your personal QR code, which will serve as your electronic ID during your visit.
  3. Register at the Municipality of Panglao website for the issuance of letter of acceptance.
  4. Book at DOT-accredited accommodation establishments in the Municipalities of Panglao and Dauis, with a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) from DOT or the Ultimate Bohol Experience (UBE) seal from the Provincial Government.
  5. Pre-arrange your transport service from the port to your accommodation establishment.
  6. Pre-book an itinerary with a DOT-accredited tour operator. A list of accredited operators is available at the Bohol website.
  7. For those who are staying for more than 5 days in Bohol, you must take another RT-PCR test on the 5th day at your own expense before departing.

For more information on Bohol’s travel guidelines, click here.

Boracay

Who can travel?

All local tourists in the Philippines of any age with no comorbidities.

Travel procedures:

  1. Undergo a RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to traveling to Boracay.
  2. Pre-book your stay at a DOT-accredited hotel or resort with Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO).
  3.  Visit the Aklan website, click Online Health Declaration Card and choose Boracay at the “Where To?” page. Fill out the form and submit, and a confirmation with instructions will be displayed.
  4. Save a copy of your Online Health Declaration Card, attach it with RT-PCR Negative Result, confirmed flight and booking details, and your valid ID, then email it to touristboracay@gmail.com with this subject format: OHDC – Family Name, First name.
  5. Wait for the response within the day. If approved, a copy of your HDC and Tourist QR Code will be sent back to you. Present these to the authorities at the border.
  6. When you’re at the beach, be sure to register at the designated beach stations before going into the water.

For more information on Boracay’s travel guidelines and a list of the DOT-accredited establishments in the area, click here.

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Coron

Who can travel?

  • Visitors from all areas in the Philippines with an age range of 15 to 65.
  • Filipino citizens or Philippine-residing foreigners.

Travel procedures:

  1. Prepare your negative RT-PCR test taken 72 hours prior to your travel to Coron.
  2.  Register at Coron’s tourism website to receive your tourist QR code.
  3. Upon arrival at Francisco B. Reyes Airport, you must undergo a health assessment at the airport’s triage area. If symptomatic, you must take a rapid Antigen test at your own expense.
  4. Secure the following requirements: confirmed hotel booking at DOT-accredited establishment, confirmed tour/dive booking, negative RT-PCR result with official receipt, and your round-trip ticket.

For more information about Coron’s travel guidelines, click here. For a list of DOT-accredited establisments, tour operators, and diving arrangements, visit Coron’s tourism website.

El Nido

Photo: El Nido Tourism website

Who can travel?

  • Palawan-based tourists
  • Tourists from outside Palawan, originating from GCQ and MGCQ areas.
  • El Nido is open to all ages without underlying conditions and health risks.

Travel procedures:

  1. Secure your Health Declaration Form through the El Nido Tourism website.
  2. Book your reservation in an accommodation establishment with a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO).
  3. Have a confirmed travel itinerary accomplished through local tour operator/travel agencies with DOT accreditation and Local Seal of Compliance (LSOC).
  4. Prepare a valid ID. For minors, the ID of their guardian.
  5. Submit the following at the El Nido Tourism website: Health Declaration Form, accommodation reservation, confirmed travel itinerary, a negative RT-PCR test result taken 48 hours before the flight to Coron.
  6. When all the requirements are met, you will receive your QR-coded tourist ID (QT-ID).

For more information about El Nido’s travel guidelines and a list of DOT-accredited hotels and resorts, click here.

Ilocos Norte

Photo: Department of Tourism website

Who can travel?

  • Tourists from Luzon Island (Region 1 to 5, CAR, and NCR) with complete requirements.
  • Ilocos Norte is open to tourists of all ages, as long as they don’t have underlying conditions and health risks. Pregnant women are not yet allowed for travel.

Travel procedures:

  1. For tourists from areas under GCQ or MGCQ with increased risk of transmission, you must acquire a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of entry. See the table below for the testing guidelines.
  2. You must also take a Rapid Antigen Test upon arrival at the border or the Pinili Tourist One Stop Shop and Triage.
  3. Acquire your confirmed accommodation booking and confirmed tour itinerary from DOT-accredited establishment and tour operators.
  4. Pre-register and submit the following at the Ilocos Norte website: negative COVID-19 test, a medical certificate indicating good health, your confirmed accommodation and tour itinerary, and a valid ID.
  5. 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.
  6. Present your SafePass QR Code and documents upon arrival at the border at either of the following points of entry: Pinili Visitor Center (Tourist Triage South), Pagudpud Visitor Center (Tourist Triage North), or Laoag International Airport Tourist Triage.
Screenshot from the Department of Tourism website

For more information about the travel guidelines of Ilocos Norte, as well as a list of DOT-accredited establishments, click here.

Ilocos Sur

Photos: Department of Tourism website

Who can travel?

  • Featured destinations and attractions for tourists are open to guests coming from Luzon composed of Region I, II, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, CAR, and NCR (including Metro Manila), subject to compliance with the guidelines of the city/municipality that has jurisdiction over the tourist destination.
  • No age restriction for tourism or leisure purposes but those who are 60 years old and above with existing high-risk health conditions and comorbidities are advised not to go out for such purposes.

Travel procedures:

  1. Arrange your trip and accommodation with DOT-accredited travel and tour operators or agents with Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO).
  2. Tourists from GCQ or MGCQ areas with increased risk of transmission must undergo an RT-PCR test within 48 hours of entry. It is also recommended for travelers from MGCQ areas without an increased risk of transmission.
  3. Request your SafePass at request.safp.as or via SafePass Portal on Facebook Messenger to get a SafePass QR Code.
  4. All stopovers must be done at the following areas listed as safe pitstops: LV & JV Pasalubong, Marsha’s Delicacies, Petron (Brgy. San Pablo, Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur), and San Esteban Tourism and Youth Development Center.
  5. Upon arrival at the border, you must present the following: SafePass QR Code, negative RT-PCR test result, confirmed itinerary, accommodation booking receipt, and a government-issued ID, preferably your passport. For minors, present a school ID or parent/legal guardian’s ID.
  6. Undergo Antigen Testing upon your arrival at the triage area of the province. The negative Rapid Antigen Test Result will be valid for three days and you must take another on the 4th day if you will be staying longer.
  7. Once declared by the health officer, you shall be issued a triage card and be allowed to proceed to the pre-booked accommodation.

For more information on Ilocos Sur’s travel guidelines and for a list of accredited tours and travel agencies, click here.



Note: Guidelines, requirements, and protocols are subject to change. Visit the Department of Tourism website for more information. A complete list of reopened tourism sites is also available there.

Homestream images from the DOT website.

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