Ilocos Norte eases travel restrictions for minors, seniors | Inquirer News

Ilocos Norte eases travel restrictions for minors, seniors

/ 05:02 AM October 15, 2021

SCENIC ROUTE Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud town, which offers a view of the mountains and the sea, is among the most popular tourist stops in Ilocos Norte. —WILLIE LOMIBAO

LAOAG CITY — The province of Ilocos Norte has eased its restrictions on leisure travel as it also opened its tourist attractions to minors and fully vaccinated elderly visitors, officials said.

Xavier Ruiz, officer in charge of the Ilocos Norte tourism office, said the move was to spur economic recovery in the province, which has lost P17.8 billion in potential revenues since last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The more relaxed policy will cover non-high-risk minors below 18 years old and fully vaccinated senior citizens age 65 and above, Ruiz said in a statement on Wednesday. These age groups, including pregnant women, were previously prohibited from doing point-to-point interzonal travel by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.


But Ruiz said the province would still require negative COVID-19 test results from visitors.

“This is to further ensure the safety and protection not only of our tourists but [of] the entire community as well,” he added.

Citing local guidelines, Ruiz said tourists had the option to present negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test results taken within 72 hours before their travel, or a negative rapid antigen test result taken within 24 hours or upon arrival at the borders.

Downward trend

“We haven’t had a single case of COVID-19 because of tourism so we would like to continue having safe tourism,” Ruiz said. Ilocos Norte had seen a downward trend in COVID-19 cases since its weekly average had plateaued from 273.6 cases from Aug. 6 to Aug. 13, to 40.3 cases from Oct. 1 to Oct. 8. The province is under general community quarantine, the second least restrictive containment classification, until Oct. 31.

On Sept. 24, the local tourism industry, considered a critical driver of growth in Ilocos Norte, had initially reopened to visitors coming from areas under COVID-19 alert level 4, including Metro Manila.

Since then, tourist arrivals had been slowly trickling in and were seen as a sign of hope to recover, Ruiz said.


“[The tourists] went to visit the beaches in Pagudpud town for ‘staycations,’” Ruiz said.

Since October last year, at least 4,000 tourists have visited the province amid tight travel restrictions, local data showed.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Before the pandemic struck the country in March last year, over 3 million tourists visited the province annually. —JOHN MICHAEL MUGAS

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.

TAGS: COVID-19, Ilocos Norte, Travel

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.