Travel and Tourism

No COVID-19 tests required: 6 destinations that simplify travel; tourism sees 4th quarter boom

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
No COVID-19 tests required: 6 destinations that simplify travel; tourism sees 4th quarter boom
Cebu Pacific/Released

MANILA, Philippines — The fourth quarter of the year is undeniably the busiest for the travel and tourism industry. Although it is among the badly hit sectors, it is slowly gaining back the market -- starting with domestic tourism that is further boosted by the Department of Tourism.

Jumping off from this support and more ease-of-travel measures in major tourism destinations in the country, flyers can now think of their favorite Christmas and beyond destinations.

Raring to hit the beach and ride the waves? Cebu Pacific is expanding its flights to Siargao and Boracay. It flies to Siargao six times weekly and is set to raise its frequencies to Boracay from four to five times daily.

Missing the Chocolate Hills and its little, wide-eyed king, the tarsier? The airline's flights to Bohol are now 10 times weekly.

“We believe reopening domestic travel and the promotion of responsible travel is critical to rebuilding the trust and travel confidence in the industry,” said Candice Iyog, Vice President for Marketing and Customer Experience at Cebu Pacific.

The airline also opened new destinations where mostly Filipinos are known to fly. It is set to resume its daily flights to Dubai last September 30.

For Japan, the airline will fly twice weekly to Nagoya starting October 2, and Osaka on October 4; and resume Fukuoka on November 5. The company will restart its flights to Kuala Lumpur on October 4.

Iyog also said that flyers can rebook their flights as many times as needed, a welcome news for most travelers especially since health and safety protocols tend to change depending on the COVID-19 situation in the country and its regions. The unlimited rebooking option has been in place following the permanent removal of change fees in March 2021.  

In accordance with all the protocols in place, Iyog reminded the flying public to travel responsibly and ensure complete requirements from destination. 

She also ensured that the airline  approach in accordance with global aviation standards.

The rated 7/7 stars by airlineratings.com for its COVID-19 compliance practice safety protocols that include daily extensive cleaning and disinfection protocols for all aircraft and facilities, antigen testing before duty for all frontliners and crew members, and contactless flight procedures. The company's aircrafts are equipped with hospital grade HEPA air filters, keeping viruses at bay.

Six destinations that simplify travel

As of October 6, there are now six destinations in the airline's network that have simplified their travel requirements, namely, Cebu, Pagadian, Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Tacloban and Butuan, which no longer require RT-PCR or Antigen test. 

Travelers bound for Cebu Province must present a medical certificate stating that they do not exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 issued within 24 hours of before arrival in Cebu. 

Pagadian City-bound travelers are required to present a valid government-issued ID, which states that address is in Pagadian City, while transiting passengers do not need to present any requirement. 

The four other destinations – Negros Occidental (except Bacolod City), Guimaras, Tacloban and Butuan - accept vaccination cards of fully-vaccinated persons as travel requirement for entry. A passenger is considered fully-vaccinated at least 14 days after having received the second dose in a two-dose series, or at least 14 days after having received a single-dose vaccine.  

Below are the other requirements for the four provinces apart from the vaccination card:   

  • Negros Occidental - Travel coordination permit (TCP) from S-Pass and complete registration to StaySafe.ph 
  • Guimaras - TCP from S-Pass 
  • Tacloban - Passenger must register under the Balik Tacloban Project through www.baliktacloban.tacloban.gov.ph. A passenger bound for Tacloban may also present certification of Quarantine Completion with vaccination status in securing the Acceptance Letter when travelling to Tacloban City 
  • Butuan- TCP from S-Pass, and upload a valid, government-issued ID on the system. For a passenger bound for cities or municipalities outside Butuan City, he/she must show approved Travel Pass-Through Permit (TPP) from S-Pass 

“We are encouraged by the efforts of these LGUs to open up their borders and simplify travel requirements. We share the goals of the national government that we do not contribute to the spread of the virus, by implementing safe and risk-based approach to travel,” said Iyog.

Travelers are strongly urged to always check with the LGU of their destination for the latest updates. CEB provides updates on travel requirements via http://bit.ly/CEBTravelRequirements.

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