Palawan-based tourists may now visit El Nido

Palawan-based tourists, both foreign and local, may now travel to star attraction El Nido following an executive order from the local government unit (LGU). 

But Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said El Nido Resorts is the only establishment on the island which allows tourists from general community quarantine areas (GCQ) like Metro Manila since its soft reopening in July.

As of Sept. 22, El Nido town only recorded two COVID-19 cases. Both patients have travel history in Luzon but have now recovered days after their isolation. 

The El Nido Tourism office also said that there is no local transmission of the deadly virus in the municipality, making the popular tourism destination safe for travel.

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

They are also required to accomplish health declaration forms through the El Nido tourism website or using the QR code provided by the local tourism office. 

Pre-booked accommodation bookings at accredited hotels and other establishments are also a must.

Thirty-one hotels have already secured Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) from the Department of Tourism (DOT) as of Oct. 1 with many still in the process, according to the tourism office. 

Island hopping activities will also commence, however visitors are required to bring their own food and drinks, as well as their own mask, snorkel, and other similar gear, as rentals of such are temporarily banned.

Puyat reiterated that even with the gradual reopening of the country's tourism sites, safety is still on top of her priority.