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No more swab test for fully vaxxed travelers in these destinations

Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu (Ventures Cebu Photo)

The Department of Tourism (DOT) released over the weekend a list of domestic destinations that no longer require fully vaccinated travelers to submit a negative COVID-19 swab test result.

Instead, fully vaccinated travelers will be required to present their vaccination cards issued by the Department of Health (DOH) or the local government unit (LGU) that administered the shots.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, in a statement Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, said the growing list of destinations that have dropped the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result as entry requirement indicates that “the country’s tourism industry is slowly getting back on its feet.”

“With the lifting of the testing requirements for fully vaccinated visitors to these destinations, travel has become more affordable and accessible for domestic tourists, especially with coming holiday season,” Puyat said.

However, she reminded tourists to observe minimum health and safety protocols when traveling. These include wearing of face masks, physical distancing and frequent hand sanitation. The public should also avoid close contact settings, enclosed spaces and crowded areas.

“As we expect more tourists going to Boracay Island, and other destinations that have eased travel requirements for fully vaccinated individuals in the coming weeks, we continue to remind travelers to observe minimum health and safety protocols when visiting the spots,” Puyat said.

As of Nov. 13, 2021, the DOT's list of provinces that accept vaccination cards in lieu of COVID-19 tests for fully vaccinated travelers include:

  • Tarlac

  • Pampanga

  • Nueva Ecija

  • Camiguin (starting Nov. 15)

  • Batangas

  • Oriental Mindoro

  • Masbate

  • Camarines Norte

  • Iloilo

  • Guimaras (starting Nov. 16)

  • Negros Occidental

  • Bohol

  • Southern Leyte

  • Zamboanga del Sur

  • Zamboanga Sibugay

  • Misamis Oriental

  • Bulacan

  • Cebu Province

The following destinations are also accepting vaccination cards as requirements for travelers:

  • Boracay (starting Nov. 16)

  • San Vicente, Palawan

  • Naga City, Camarines Sur

  • Baguio City, Benguet

  • Cebu City and Mandaue City

  • Clark Freeport Zone

  • Subic Bay Freeport Zone

  • Dingalan, Aurora

  • Maasin City, Leyte

  • Ormoc City, Leyte

  • Calbayog City, Samar

  • Mati, Davao Oriental

Beachfront of La Playa Estrella in Santa Fe, Bantayan Island (Ventures Cebu Photo)

Puyat also issued a reminder to tourism businesses, workers and other stakeholders to avoid complacency with the easing of domestic travel in order to prevent COVID-19 cases from increasing again.

“Seeing how the reopening of tourism all over the country is helping Filipinos return to their jobs, we cannot afford a new surge of COVID-19 infections and a return to the restrictions imposed by a stricter quarantine. Let us do our individual parts to ensure that there will be no outbreaks in our destinations,” she said.

On Boracay Island alone, Puyat said all tourism workers have received the first dose, allowing them to resume working. (Ventures Cebu)

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