TACLOBAN CITY – As more sites in Eastern Visayas reopened their doors to regional attractions, the Department of Tourism (DOT) regional office has reminded visitors to follow the minimum health standards.
“We really have to be mindful of all these protocols if we want tourism to be back and if we want to build back the jobs that were lost,” DOT regional director Karina Rosa Tiopes said in an interview on Wednesday.
These health protocols include wearing face masks, regular hand-washing and sanitizing, physical distancing, and submit to a temperature check.
Guests are encouraged to do early reservations to ensure that the minimum carrying capacity is followed.
“Protocols are there, but some areas don’t give emphasis on these protocols. We have to be mindful since we are afraid and apprehensive that super spreader events will happen in tourism sites,” Tiopes added.
The official recently visited the island town of Biri, Northern Samar province where the town only allows tourists to enter their area if they can present a negative antigen test.
Biri is known for its nature carved rock formations. Majestically displaying their beauty along the coast of the town facing the Pacific Ocean.
The mandatory antigen test is required for all tourists coming from provinces outside Northern Samar. The test is only valid for three days.
Tourists failing to present a negative test result will not be given a clearance to board the motorboat going to the island town from the mainland.
Aside from Northern Samar, Kalanggaman Island — the prime tourist spot in Leyte province — also reopened but only for visitors from Leyte province.
To visit Kalanggaman, a tourist needs to present identification to prove to be a Leyte resident. Tourists also need to present a health certificate, and must not have travel histories outside the province within 14 days before their visit.
Overnight stay is still not allowed on the island and they can only stay from morning until 2:30 p.m.
The boat carrying the tourists will also impose 50 percent carrying capacity or only 15 passengers per boat and no joiners are allowed.
The 750-meter long uninhabited island is a prime tourist destination in this town, popular for its long stretch of white sand and its more than 700 meters long picturesque sandbar on the eastern side and the about 250-meter long sandbar on the western part. (PNA)