MANILA - Siargao in Surigao Del Norte, considered the country's surfing capital, will reopen to local tourists beginning Monday, November 23, as the tourism industry continues on the road to revival after months of travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the Department of Tourism said it was welcoming the development, as mayor Cecilia Ruson of General Luna town, where Siargao is situated, confirmed the announcement through a local executive order.
"This is encouraging news for everyone who loves the sea, especially the surfers. As Siargao reopens to travelers, subject to minimum health and safety standards, the people of the island will regain their livelihood and share their paradise to our kababayans once more with the same level of hospitality they have always been known for," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in the statement.
Siargao's reopening comes after Baguio City and Boracay started allowing people to visit the tourist spots, provided they follow health restrictions set by the country's pandemic task force and submit documents proving they are negative of the virus, in order to get in.
Flights to the tear-shaped island will resume on December 1 and tourists are expected to enjoy "its world-class white sand beaches, natural rock and cave pools, romantic sunsets, and wild water surf sites" along with the country's well-known surf spots.
Tourists arriving from Surigao City and Sayak Airport are required to submit an e-Health Pass, negative RT-PCR test result taken 48 hours from the point of origin, a 5-day confirmed booking in an accomodation facility accredited by the DOT, as well as round-trip tickets and itinerary details.
Tourists are required to submit a negative antigen swab test if the test result is taken more than 48 hours of departure from the starting point.
Tourists coming from Surigao Del Norte must have a valid ID and an e-Health Pass, barangay certification indicating that traveler is not a close contact with a COVID-19 case, and a confirmed booking from a DOT-accredited establishment.
An 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew will also be enforced.