Ilocos Norte Reopens to Tourists This Week

There will be a limit of 50 tourists a day.

burgos, ilocos norte
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
PHOTO BY Flickr/Bernard Spragg (CC0 1.0)

(SPOT.ph) After Boracay, Tagaytay, and Baguio, the Philippines is reopening more tourist destinations following months of lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. Next on the list is Ilocos Norte, which officially opens to residents from the rest of Luzonincluding Metro Manilaon October 15.

"We’re elated with the decision of Governor Manotoc to finally welcome visitors from Luzon to Ilocos Norte, even those coming from areas that are still under general community quarantine. The province’s success in managing the number of COVID-19 cases, not to mention an array of cultural sites, natural attractions, and fun activities make it really worth the long drive for people looking for a cure for their cabin fever," Department of Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

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paoay, ilocos norte
Paoay Church (or Saint Augustine Church) in Paoay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the collective group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines.  
PHOTO BY Flickr/Bernard Spragg (CC0 1.0)
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Paoay Sand Dunes is a popular tourist destinaton in Ilocos Norte for adventurers. 
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The number of tourists per day will be limited to 50 using a visitor management system similar to Baguio City's Visitor Information and Travel Assistance (VIS.I.T.A.) online platform. Tourists are also required to take an RT-PCR or swab test at least 48 hours before travel to make sure that they don't have the virus. Wearing of face masks and face shields as well as physical distancing are still required in public spaces. More than 200 hotels and resorts have already been issued their certificates of authority after checking that they've complied with health and safety standards.

Ilocos Norte initially opened to tourists from Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, and Baguio City on October 1. The province has 14 active cases, 109 recovered patients, and one death as of October 11. The Philippines, as of October 11, has a total of 339,341 coronavirus cases—making it the 18th country (out of 195) in the world to have the most number of COVID-19 cases.

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