Elijah Felice Rosales (The Philippine Star) – April 14, 2021 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Popular tourist destinations Baguio, Boracay and El Nido have either barred visitors or imposed tourist limits again as local government units (LGUs) try to keep the COVID-19 situation in their area under control.
In a travel advisory, the municipal government of El Nido said it would not accept tourists, including those from within Palawan, until this weekend.
The LGU said it would suspend the issuance of QR codes for tourists.
Local authorities said they would assist guests with accommodation reservations to either reschedule or cancel their bookings.
The Department of Tourism had earlier appealed to hotels and accommodation establishments to ease restrictions on rebooking and refunds.
In Baguio, leisure travel was suspended indefinitely as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases breached 1,000. Tourist spots are open only for residents.
In line with the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) of the request of Western Visayas LGUs to bar travelers from the National Capital Region-Plus bubble as well as the cities of Cebu and Davao, the Malay tourism office announced that Boracay would accept tourists only from areas under modified general community quarantine or MGCQ.
Even though Aklan depends on tourism for its revenues, the Malay LGU said it has to ensure that guidelines are in place for the safety of its residents.
Meanwhile, resorts in Negros Occidental will be closed for two weeks, according to Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Lacson said they would impose stricter quarantine measures even though the IATF rejected their request to place the province under GCQ.
An LGU could revert to GCQ only if the rate of infection recorded in two weeks is 200 percent, Lacson said, citing his discussion with Western Visayas IATF head Juan Jovian Ingeniero on Monday.
Lacson said the rate of infection in the province in the past two weeks is 107 percent. “My point is, why wait for 200 percent?” he asked.
In Cagayan, the regional IATF approved the request of the Tuguegarao city government to downgrade its enhanced community quarantine status to modified ECQ for one week starting yesterday.
The city recorded 843 active cases as of Sunday. – Gilbert Bayoran, Raymund Catindig