Ilocos Sur to reopen to tourists from Luzon, NCR by Nov. 15

Published October 18, 2020, 5:07 PM

by Hanah Tabios

The province of Ilocos Sur will reopen its doors to more local tourists from Luzon, including Metro Manila, beginning Nov. 15. 

The province’s tourism department, however, will strictly implement the “Test Before Travel” policy, which requires tourists to submit a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rT-PCR) test result within a 72-hour period. 

In a message to reporters Sunday. Oct. 18, afternoon, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the department welcomes the development, which came upon the announcement of Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan V. Singson to open up the province following the growing interest from tourists from the National Capital Region (NCR) during the launch of the Reef and Ridge traveler corridor.

“The [Department of Tourism] welcomes the news that the province of Ilocos Sur will open to Luzon residents on November 15 once all systems and health and safety measures are in place,” Puyat said. 

The DOT also lauded Singson’s initiative to give back jobs to the tourism workforce from the “kutcheros” or carriage drivers to the waiters, the souvenir shops, to the tour guides through the slow but sure reopening of the province.

The province boasts of a rich history hidden behind some of its famous heritage structures such as the Vigan Heritage Village and Calle Crisologo, Plaza Salcedo Dancing Fountain, Bantay Bell Tower, Santa Maria Church, and Plaza Burgos.

Ilocos Sur first welcomed back tourists earlier this month through the Ridge and Reef travel corridor with Baguio City and Ilocos Region, including the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, and Ilocos Norte. 

As of Oct. 17, Ilocos Sur has 73 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the lowest among Region 1 provinces. 

Meanwhile, the tourism chief confirmed to the Manila Bulletin that they are now finalizing the date of the reopening of La Union province to Luzon visitors.