Camiguin gets rid of RT-PCR test requirement for travelers

The provincial government of Camiguin Island got rid of the RT-PCR test requirement for travelers who have received their coronavirus jabs to give local tourism a boost.

All that inbound travelers need to show are their vaccination cards, IDs, and billeting reservations or homestay clearances effective on Monday, November 15.

The Camiguin Tourism Office said unvaccinated children who are younger than 12 years old are allowed in the island province, provided that they are with fully-vaccinated parents or guardians.

Officials said ecotourism sites have been fully opened for those who have been inoculated.

The island province saw its first commercial flight from Cebu on Tuesday, November 9, more than a year after the officials went strict on their borders, and commercial flights were suspended at the Camiguin Airport.

Twice-a-week flights direct from Manila (Mondays and Fridays) are also expected to resume on Monday.

The move came more than two weeks after the Camiguin provincial government relaxed pandemic restrictions and announced that it was opening the island province to tourism, more than a year after the runaway outbreak of COVID-19 infections in the country. 

Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said the move to further ease travel restrictions was meant to help the country recover and spur economic activities in the island, a major tourism destination in northern Mindanao.

Based on Romualdo’s executive order, travelers may also bring their children to Camiguin, although they still need to register and secure the Clean Camiguin QR code via www.cleancamiguinqr.com.

They also need to show proof of confirmed reservations with hotels or similar establishments. 

For those who would be staying in homes, they need to secure clearances from the town governments.

Travelers who are 17 years and younger will be asked for proof of full or even partial COVID-19 vaccination.

Romualdo, however, said travelers would need to show their valid IDs and would be checked for COVID-19 symptoms.

He said those with COVID-19 symptoms may be barred entry or they could opt to undergo RT-PCR tests at their own expense while under quarantine.

Camiguin is among the top 10 tourism destinations in the country with nearly a million visitors annually, according to the Department of Tourism. 

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, who was on the island last month, hailed the move of the provincial government, saying the rate of vaccination of the province’s tourism workforce allowed the province to open up, “and bring the fun back to tourism in Camiguin.” – Rappler.com