PN File

The local government of Coron has released new travel guidelines effective August 1 for the reopening of its tourism destinations.

The town first reopened its tourism industry in June 2020 to Palawan tourists and in October for domestic tourists, but was forced to close its borders again in May this year as COVID-19 cases spiked. Coron mayor Mario Reyes, Jr. previously stated that he preferred to reopen the town in mid-June.

Tourists allowed to enter Coron are only limited to Filipinos or foreigners staying in the Philippines, according to the local government’s guidelines. They can come from outside Palawan or mainland Palawan, as long as they secure a negative RT-PCR test valid for 48 hours. They must also register and use the mobile app, have an approved S-Pass travel application, and be booked at a Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited accommodation. Their travel agency and boat tour operator must also be DOT-accredited.

Fully vaccinated tourists should bring their vaccination cards at all times. Minors accompanied by fully vaccinated parents are allowed to travel to the town and are also subject to the issued guidelines.

Palawan-based tourists are also subject to the same requirements and must have a government ID showing their Palawan address. They are only allowed to enter the town by private boats that will dock at the town pier. Students can bring their school ID as proof of residence.

Upon arrival, tourists’ luggage will be subjected to disinfection. Should a tourist start manifesting symptoms of COVID-19, they will shoulder all expenses related to their condition.

“All expenses such as but not limited to medical, hotel, rebooking of tickets borne out of the additional health protocols or in case of COVID-19, shall be on the account of the tourist. This is applicable when: [the] tourist manifests symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19; was exposed to co-tourist; and was exposed to a local,” the statement said.

Protocols for tourism establishments, tourism workers, and public transportation systems were also included in the announcement. Accommodations must have a Safety Seal issued by the local government or the DOT, utilize the system, have an isolation room ready in case a guest manifests COVID-19 symptoms, and must only operate at 50% capacity. Electronic payment is also highly encouraged.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.