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Surigao del Norte, where Siargao is, OKs COVID-19 saliva test for tourists
This undated photo shows Cloud 9 surfing area in Siargao.
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Surigao del Norte, where Siargao is, OKs COVID-19 saliva test for tourists

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - February 10, 2021 - 8:53pm

MANILA, Philippines — Surigao del Norte Gov. Francisco Matugas on Tuesday approved a memorandum order allowing COVID-19 saliva test as a substitute for the usual reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test boarding requirement for aircraft passengers.

“A negative result on COVID-19 Saliva Test shall now be accepted in lieu of the negative result in reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test requirement for passengers in Surigao del Norte through Surigao City Airport and Siargao Island Airport,” the memorandum order 21-015 made public on Wednesday read.

The governor said the order is effective immediately.

Under this memorandum, tourists are mandated to submit a negative result of a COVID-19 saliva test taken within 48 hours or two days from the date of release of the result.

They will also be required to submit valid identification card and register on Surigao del Norte’s “e-HEALTH Pass” for contact tracing purposes. The pass can be accessed here: https://covid19.ssct.edu.ph/healthform

Here are additional requirements for tourists invited by a local resident of Surigao del Norte and those not invited or are walk-in tourists:

For tourists invited by local resident:

  • Travel certification issued by the mayor of the city or municipality of destination (within the province of Surigao del Norte)

For tourists not invited by local resident of Surigao del Norte:

  • Confirmed booking of accommodation for at least five days from the resort, hotel or hostel duly accredited by the Department of Tourism
  • Travel itinerary in Surigao del Norte
  • Roundtrip ticket        

Siargao island also known as the Philippines’ “Surfing Capital” reopened to the public on November 23.

Its tourist spots, including the white sand beaches, natural rock and cave pools, are open to tourists outside the region. The DOT’s Safe Trip website, however indicated that Dapa, Siargao Islands was on lockdown last January 25 to 29. A no-sailing policy was implemented in the same period.

Last week, the DOT said determining the type of COVID-19 test deemed best to keep their communities and borders safe is within the discretion of the local government units.

It said that most areas, especially Boracay Island, still require a RT-PCR test as a requirement before entry.

Aside from Surigao del Norte, Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap also issued Executive Order 9 “allowing saliva RT-PCR test for those availing of the tourist bubble and as a requirement for authorized persons outside of residence.”

COVID-19 DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM NEW NORMAL NOVEL CORONAVIRUS SURIGAO DEL NORTE
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