BAGUIO CITY – The city government will now require tourists coming from Metro Manila who have earlier been issued a quick response travel permit (QTP) to undergo an antigen testing.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong said he will issue the Executive Order anytime today, Jan. 3, and that they are mulling to decrease the daily tourist arrival ceiling.
“Pagmimitingan muna namin ito at plano kong -ireduce ang daily arrivals. Sa mga under Alert Level 3 na lugar ay papayagan naman nating makapasok pero subjected for antigen test sila. Kailangan muna nating maghigpit ngayon na tumataas na naman ang cases (We will be meeting about this and we plan to reduce the daily arrivals. For those under Alert Level 3, they will still be allowed to enter but subject to antigen test. We again have to be strict now that cases are again rising),” said Magalong.
Magalong also said the plan to decrease the number of tourist arrivals is to assure no surge will happen within the city.
It can be recalled that the city allowed some hotels to operate their own triage facilities after seeing the long queues in December at the central triage.
The mayor said the Executive Oder is being prepared while waiting for the result of the meeting on the travel leisure guidelines.
The city tourism office on January 2 has temporarily suspended the issuance of new QTPs for leisure travelers.
But those who were already given QTPs will prior to the suspension can still enter the city based on the schedule given to them.
The APORs (authorized persons outside residence) including those with essential and official travel to the city have to register at the online platform hdf.baguio.gov.ph for the documentary requirements and for the triage health screening.
The city’s tightening of its entry protocols came as a result of the declaration of Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila due to the increase in COVID cases.
While on Alert Level 2, Baguio City increased its daily tourist numbers to 5,000 in November.
By January 2, the city already has recorded 73 active cases.
“We’re not on lockdown! We also did not stop the entry of tourists, actually they are here,” was what City Tourism Officer Alec Mapalo posted on their official Facebook page.
“For now, we are not only allowing to add more to the current pre-approved travels that already exceeded 5k daily until Jan 8. We’ll set new limits at reduced capacity and will announce such when finalized,” added Mapalo.