Nov 29, 2020

El Nido sets November opening to domestic tourism

In July, tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat allowed one of the town’s major operators – the El Nido Resorts – to “dry run” a travel bubble where tourists from outside were allowed entry subject to a tailored set of health protocols intended as safety measures.

Image courtesy of El Nido Resorts


El Nido town has set to open to domestic tourism in November, ending a total lockdown that began in March this year as the pandemic crisis ground Palawan’s booming tourist industry to a halt.

El Nido, hailed by international industry players on various occasions as among the world best destinations, was specifically targeted by the Department of Tourism to pivot the reopening the sector. In July, tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat allowed one of the town’s major operators – the El Nido Resorts – to “dry run” a travel bubble where tourists from outside were allowed entry subject to a tailored set of health protocols intended as safety measures.

“Test before travel protocol. Napaka-important ‘yong ginawa natin noong July kasi three months na El Nido [Resorts] ongoing. Test, RT-PCR test, and proud to say naging successful naman all eight flights. No outbreak, negative lahat,” Puyat said.

Puyat visited the town on Friday to meet with local officials led by Mayor Edna Gacot-Lim and check on the preparations for the town’s reopening to domestic tourists.

Puyat also stressed on the importance of the contact tracing team to ensure that in case of breach of protocols, immediate identification and isolation of possible COVID-19 cases would be mitigated.

 

image courtesy of El Nido Resorts

“Contact tracing is napaka-importante so alam mo nasaan ‘yong tao at what particular time,” Puyat added.

Mayor Lim said that travelers would be allowed in El Nido subject to strict guidelines from the municipal inter-agency task force (IATF), which may include RT-PCR test prior to airline departure for those coming in from outside mainland Palawan.

“We will provide policy para sa manggagaling sa Palawan at ‘yong dito nagme-meeting ang IATF para titingnan kung sigurado na before undas. Kung matatakot tayo, walang mangyayari sa atin,” Lim said.

“Test before travel protocol. Napaka-important ‘yong ginawa natin noong July kasi three months na El Nido [Resorts] ongoing. Test, RT-PCR test, and proud to say naging successful naman all eight flights. No outbreak, negative lahat,” Puyat said.

Puyat also stressed on the importance of the contact tracing team to ensure that in case of breach of protocols, immediate identification and isolation of possible COVID-19 cases would be mitigated.

“Contact tracing is napaka-importante so alam mo nasaan ‘yong tao at what particular time,” Puyat added.

The municipality of El Nido closed its doors to the public in March upon the pandemic crisis.

Since the onset of the highly infectious disease outbreak in the country, El Nido town has only recorded two COVID-19 cases, both asymptomatic patients with travel history in Luzon but were recovered days after their isolation. The provincial health office also said that there is no local transmission of the highly infectious virus in the municipality, making the popular tourism destination safe for travel.

Tourists would be required to undergo the usual mandatory health checks and were asked to comply with the government’s minimum public health and safety standards.

 

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