The City of Pines will gradually open for tourism activities, with regulated, controlled-entry, and monitored movement of visitors.
The Baguio City government announced that it targets to reopen for tourists by September 2020.
This was after the entire city was placed under community quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Meanwhile, to help manage the tourists who will enter the city, the local government unit will launch Baguio VIS.I.T. A. or the Baguio Visitor Information and Travel Assistance. It is an online registration system that will be created to control the number of tourists per day and to manage tourists who entered the city through illegal means.
Through the online system, those who plan to visit Baguio will be required to pre-register through Baguio VIS.I.T.A. and arrange their accommodation through accredited tour operators.
They will also need to declare their itinerary with the city tourism managers who will oversee real-time monitoring of tourists’ itineraries through technological innovation. On the other hand, Baguio City LGU orders tourism managers to ensure the protection of the visitors’ personal data and information.
Upon entry, tourists will undergo mandatory triage and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test. Visitors will pay for the testing. While waiting for the result of the PCR test, which will be released within nine hours, they will have to stay in a hotel.
Afterward, tour operators and hotel management shall closely monitor the tourist movements, to ensure the efficiency of the triage and testing process, with supporting health care systems and centers in place.
The pandemic situation
There are 144 COVID cases in Baguio, 79 of which are considered active. Meanwhile, the country’s Summer Capital recorded 62 recoveries and three deaths.
In view of the rising number of COVID cases, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong orders the reimplementation of Sunday lockdown and liquor ban. Furthermore, the Baguio City Public Market will also be closed every Sunday, to help curb the spread of COVID in the city.