The Ilocos Region and Baguio City probably top the most visited places by tourists, especially riders. Thanks to the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx), moto-tourists now have easier access to the region’s vast and beautiful destinations – until the coronavirus came.

7 months into the pandemic, the Ilocos Sur government, headed by Governor Ryan Singson, has released guidelines allowing tourism to resume again in the region. This is just a few weeks after Baguio City has reopened. However, there’s a catch: only those who live within Region 1 and Baguio City can start traveling. Plus, there's a long list of pre-requisites.


Before traveling

Book your travel

Before embarking on that journey, tourists are required to first arrange their visit with any of the Department of Tourism (DOT) accredited travel and tour agencies/ agents. From there, these travel agencies/ agents will determine the date of your travel and itinerary, based on availability and coordination, together with booking of hotels if needed.

Rapid testing

Travellers will be required to get a RT-PCR test – also called a swab test – within 48 hours before travel. The results should be certified and will be considered valid for the next 5 days. The cost of swab testing will be shouldered by the tourists.

SafePass QR code

Tourists will be required to secure a SafePass QR code for entry. The code can be acquired from the SafePass mobile or desktop site. Follow the steps to request a SafePass QR code.

Documents

Don’t forget to bring photocopies of swab test results, confirmed travel itinerary by the DOT- accredited travel agency/ agent, hotel booking receipt, government-issued IDs (passport preferred), as well as legal guardian’s ID for parents accompanying minors.

During travel

But wait, there’s more! Under the new tourism guidelines, stopovers are only permitted at designated DOT- accredited restaurants and gas stations along the way. These designated stop points are located in Candon, Bantay, and Sto. Domingo (Petron Gas station) only. As much as possible, any stops other than these three are discouraged by the Ilocos Sur government and whenever possible, tourists are advised to travel directly from their point of origin to their destination without stops.

Entry points will be only at Tagudin and Sinait borders only. Additionally, a digital check-in must be done in all sites and establishments, which is required for contact tracing purposes.

There are also certain limitations with the number of tourists allowed and as always, senior citizens and pregnant women are not permitted to travel.

Return home

Upon return, tourists will have to subject themselves to a 3-day home quarantine or as advised by their local government unit’s health office. An antigen test will be also required on the 3rd day of quarantine.

With this long list of protocols, would you still tour with your friends or can you hold it off until the pandemic ends?