Siargao to reopen to local tourists on Nov. 23 | Inquirer News
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Siargao to reopen to local tourists on Nov. 23

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 11:20 AM November 21, 2020

SURIGAO PARADISE Siargao Island, featuring unspoiled beaches and surfing spots, is Surigao del Norte’s top tourist drawer. —ERWIN MASCARIÑAS

MANILA, Philippines — Siargao Island is set to reopen to local tourists starting Nov. 23, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Saturday.

In a statement, the DOT said that flights to the teardrop-shaped island located in Surigao del Norte, dubbed the Philippines’ surfing capital, will resume on Dec. 1.

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The reopening of Siargao was confirmed by General Luna, Surigao del Norte mayor Cecilia L. Ruson through a local executive order, the DOT said.

To ensure everyone’s safety, the Siargao local government has set minimum health standards and COVID-19 testing for arriving tourists, in compliance with local COVID-19 management procedures and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases directives, the DOT added.

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For tourists arriving via Surigao City or Sayak Airport will be required an e-Health Pass with valid ID, negative RT-PCR result taken within 48 hours from point of origin, a five-day confirmed booking from an accommodation establishment with a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) or Provisional Certificate of Authority to Operate (PCAO) from the DOT and a round-trip ticket or travel details.

“If RT-PCR is taken more than 48 hours of departure from point of origin, a negative antigen swab will be required on the day of arrival,” the DOT said of incoming tourists.

Meanwhile, for tourists from the province of Surigao del Norte, they will be required the following: a e-Health Pass with valid ID, certificate from Barangay Captain that Traveler is not a close contact; confirmed booking from an accredited DOT-accommodation establishment (AE).

For hotels and resorts in Siargao, these are the requirements needed before they can operate, according to the DOT: Business Permit; a certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) from the DOT; e-health System Registration, e-health Pass or QR code reader and new normal protocols approved by the municipal health office.

A curfew will also be imposed on the island from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., the DOT said.

DOT  Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the reopening of the world-class island is “encouraging news for everyone who loves the sea, especially the surfers.”

“As Siargao reopens to travelers, subject to minimum health and safety standards, the people of the island will regain their livelihood and share their paradise to our kababayans once more with the same level of hospitality they have always been known for, “ Puyat said.

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TAGS: Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, coronarivirus Philippines, COVID-19, Department of Tourism, DoT, nCoV update, Siargao Island
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