Baguio City raises daily tourist cap to 1,000

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3) — Baguio City is now accepting up to 1,000 tourists per day, doubling the daily tourist cap the local government set in late October.

“We are opening to the other regions — from Mindanao and Visayas. In fact, we have increased the number of daily tourist arrivals — from 500 to 1000,” Mayor Benjamin Magalong told CNN Philippines’ New Day on Thursday.

“And we have allowed three bus companies to travel from NCR (National Capital Region), Region 3, and Pangasinan and some [other] parts of Region 1,” Magalong added, noting that 200 to 250 passengers will be allowed to enter the City of Pines, subject to conditions.

The news comes as authorities discourage holiday travels over fears these trips might trigger a surge in new coronavirus cases.

Entry requirements

The local government is requiring tourists to follow health and safety protocols so they may be permitted to enter Baguio, which is a favorite destination during this time of year.

Visitors must have a confirmed itinerary and booking with an establishment that is accredited by the Department of Tourism. For DOT-accredited accommodation establishments, tour & travel agents, and other tourism service providers, check out this list.

A negative RT-PCR test or rapid antigen test result must be submitted online along with other requirements. Testing may be done 72 hours prior to travel.

Visitors should register at the LGU’s website for tourists. After they have created an account, they must enter travel and accommodation details, fill out a health declaration form, and submit their negative test result. Upon submission of requirements, they will receive an email with their QR-coded Tourist Pass, which would serve as an electronic ID, as it must be presented at checkpoints, triage area at the Baguio Convention Center, and tourist establishments.

Mapalo noted that from October 22 to Nov. 15, at least 2,658 out of 3,172 travel requests were approved by the LGU. He added that before the pandemic struck, they were tallying an average of 120,000 visitors a month.

Baguio currently has 3,064 infections, including 193 active cases, with 41 deaths and 2,830 recoveries.

CNN Philippines’ Baguio-based Correspondent Lauren Anuma contributed to this report