October 29, 2020
The local government of Bohol is eyeing to accept local tourists beginning November 15 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap announced this during the televised press briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque held in Panglao, Bohol on Thursday.
"At this point in time, we are studying the possibility of opening Bohol to domestic tourism by November 15," Yap said.
He said those who want to visit the province could check the requirements from tourism.bohol.gov.ph.
One of the requirements for visitors is a 72-hour RT-PCR negative test result, he said.
"So, if you have a valid negative PCR test result to COVID, then you can register. Let us know about that, you will be given a QR code and you will also use that QR code to register and then you can now book your stay with accredited establishments," Yap said.
He said the "do-it-yourself tours" would not be allowed yet as the local government would be the one to provide the itinerary.
Henry Chusuey, owner of Henann Resorts Group of Companies, in the same briefing, raised concern that only few tourists would go to Bohol similar to what is happening in Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan due to the requirement of RT-PCR test.
"It has been tested on Boracay, there's a (requirement) of PCR test, no one came. We have only 30-50 arrivals from Metro Manila. In Iloilo, almost zero because they require also Iloilo PCR test and that does not include yet the plane ticket in Iloilo. So, (with) this PCR test, very few people is willing (to go). First, you have to pay four to five thousand (pesos) and then the inconvenience, the hassle of going to the hospital, of going to the clinic," he said.
He suggested that there would be no more restriction to tourists coming from areas under modified general community quarantine since Bohol is also under MGCQ.
"There should be no more restriction for more people to come and more people to come meaning more employees we can employ," said Chusuey whose resort used to employ 1,200 people prior to coronavirus pandemic. But now, he said they only have about 60 employees.
Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is waiting for the result of antigen pilot test in Baguio City, which has also started accepting local tourists.
"It (antigen test) is cheaper and the results are out by 10 to 15 minutes," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS
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