Coron reopens with health, safety measures in place

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    The Department of Tourism recently announced that the local government of Coron, Palawan has decided to ease its travel restrictions starting this month, allowing local tourists from ages 15 to 65 years old to enter the island under a test-before-travel policy.

    “We’re grateful for the decision of the local government officials and tourism stakeholders of Coron to finally welcome local visitors from all over the country. This will further help the tourism community of Palawan thrive during this time and bring back lost jobs to tourism workers,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

    Known for the iconic Twin Lagoon, Coron has emerged as a popular site in Palawan due to its World War II wreck diving spots, beautiful rock formations, and unbelievably clear waters, such as those found in Kayangan Lake.

    Tourists can take a break at the Maniquit Hot Springs or watch the sunset from the top of Mt. Tapyas.

    The DOT will also continue to extend support to the provincial government by ensuring that necessary health and safety protocols are strictly enforced in tourist sites, hotels, and other tourism-related establishments that seek to accommodate tourists from Luzon.

    As of today, the DOT has issued Certificates of Authority to Operate to a total of 10 hotels and resorts in Coron.

    DOT’s Regional Office will regularly check these establishments for compliance with health and safety standards.

    Meanwhile, the DOT also reminded tourists planning to visit the island to respect and follow the province’s protocols for travelers.

    “As we gradually reopen destinations, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our visitors and tourism workers to prevent the spread COVID-19 in the country. We remind our LGUs to enforce and monitor the minimum health and safety standards such as the wearing of face masks and shields, regular hand sanitizing and observance of physical distancing,” added Sec. Puyat.

    Tourists must first acquire a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) result within 72 hours before entering Coron.

    They must also have a pre-arranged booking at DOT-certified to operate accommodation establishments and tour operators, as tour packages and travel itineraries need to be booked in advance, and must also register and fill-out the online health declaration form, which can be accessed at www.corontourism.ph.

    Once the registration is approved, visitors will be given a unique QR code, which will serve as a pass upon entry and while in Coron. Upon check-in, they need to present the negative RT-PCR test, roundtrip ticket, and confirmed booking itinerary.

    All tourists will undergo health assessment at the triage area of Busuanga Airport. If found to be symptomatic, antigen testing will be required with a fee of P3,500 to be paid by the tourist, and if tested positive, will be brought to the isolation room of the booked hotel.

    Since tours are pre-booked, all tourists are subject to regulated movement with all movement in and out of the hotel or resort arranged by the management for contact tracing purposes.

    Coron will be implementing a 50 percent operations capacity to business establishments until 10PM.