El Nido reopens to tourists October 30

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 24) — The municipal government of El Nido, a popular destination in Palawan, is easing travel restrictions to accommodate tourists from outside the province starting October 30.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced in a statement on Saturday that El Nido is moving on to the second phase of its "travel bubble", which means all tourists will be accepted as long as they secure a negative RT-PCR test for the coronavirus 72 hours before their trip.

A reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR test is considered the gold standard in detecting coronavirus infection. A swab test costs around ₱2,000 up to over ₱10,000 in public and private laboratories across the country.

El Nido, which has recorded two COVID-19 cases who have since recovered, previously accepted tourists from the province of Palawan only. Under the travel bubble implemented since July, El Nido Resorts was allowed to take in guests from Manila who had negative test results.

El Nido Resorts was previously the only establishment on the island that had a Certificate of Authority to Operate. There are now nine businesses with this license, and 27 more that were granted provisional authority to operate, Puyat reported. All these facilities can accommodate guests subject to health protocols by the end of this month.

Other travel destinations, including Boracay Island and Baguio City have also reopened to more tourists as the government eased restrictions to spur economic activity.