Safely Reopening Baguio Tourism: What to know before you go

Travel Philippines

Oct 27, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Baguio only open to residents of Luzon?

  • Tourists from LUZON are allowed to enter Baguio City provided that they register via the VISITA app and submit all the needed requirements including a negative RT-PCR test done within 72 hours prior to travel.

What do I need to secure or do before traveling to Baguio? Please list every requirement I should have with me before I travel to Baguio. And if I'm required to submit a document, can I submit a scanned copy only or do I have to bring the original hard copies?

Before Travel

  • Testing Requirements: COVID-19 testing shall be done using the methods as prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH) at accredited testing centers from point of origin. Test must be taken 48 to 72 hours prior to travel and subject to another test on the 6th day, especially if tourist/s stays longer. When available, and with proper coordination with destination tourism office, testing on site upon arrival at entry processing centers will remain an option for tourists, but with required affidavit of undertaking, and the possibility of medical procedures will be at the expense of the tourist when COVID-19 test results turn out positive.
  • Arrange travel with DOT-accredited tour operators or travel agents, confirming pre-arranged transportation (if not using private vehicle), itinerary and accommodation; such tourism services must be facilitated by DOT-accredited establishments issued with the necessary Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) by DOT and/or other concerned agencies. If intended travel is strictly for hotel/resort staycation only, tourist/s may book directly with hotels, but once the tourist decides to go out on a tour, it must be coordinated with a DOT-accredited tour operator or tour guide.
  • Register an individual account online Baguio VISITA app (Visitors Information and Travel Assistance). Each traveler, of any age, must have an individual visitor account, with minors’ registration assisted by parent or legal guardian. Each account must upload the following: Government-issued ID, preferably Passport second page; for minors, school ID or parent/legal guardian’s ID; and Current Photo.
  • Schedule visit and register travel date/s online via the Baguio VISITA app, filling out required travel information and health declaration, uploading the following required documents: Confirmed Itinerary as issued by Accredited Tour Operator (travelers on staycation only are exempted), Accommodation Booking Receipt, Most Recent COVID-19 Test (current prescribed method by DOH) Result as issued by Accredited Testing Centers.

Approval and Confirmation of Travel

  • If all requirements have been complied with, depending on the Baguio VISITA app, an automatically generated unique QR-coded Tourist Pass (QTP) will be issued, or an email confirmation shall be sent with a link to your unique QTP, which can be downloaded either for saving or printing.
  • Save a digital e-copy or printed hardcopy of the issued QTP that will serve as Health Declaration ID and travel pass in all border check points, accommodation establishments, and tourism-related establishments and sites.
  • Each traveler must always have with them their uploaded documents either saved as e-copies or printed hardcopies, together with the QTP.

Is there an age restriction for tourists entering Baguio?

  • No age restriction even if Baguio is under GCQ for the entire month of February.

Are those with co-morbidities allowed to enter Baguio?

The following will NOT be allowed to travel to the Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor:

  • Pregnant women.
  • Individuals with existing high-risk health conditions and comorbidities as follows: cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, immunocompromised state, obesity, serious heart conditions, diabetes, asthma, cerebrovascular disease, cystic fibrosis, hypertension, neurologic conditions, liver disease.
  • Children who have medical complexity, neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease.
  • Tourists from outside R&R coverage (until the travel corridor shall be expanded during Phase 2 or 3).

Am I required to book an accommodation first before entering Baguio?

  • Yes. Tourists entering Baguio City are required to have a pre-booking arrangement with a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment. The booking receipt is one of the documents needed to process registration through the Baguio VISITA app.

Do I need to book through a travel agency/tour operator when traveling to Baguio? What if I just want to walk and relax in the area without following an itinerary or taking a tour?

  • At the moment, tourists who wish to enter Baguio City are required to arrange travel with DOT-accredited tour operators or travel agents. If intended travel is strictly for hotel/resort staycation only, tourist/s may book directly with hotels, but once tourist decides to go out on a tour, it must be coordinated with a DOT-accredited tour operator or tour guide. DIY (do-it-yourself) tours are not allowed for now.

Is there a specific number of days required for me to stay as a tourist in Baguio?

  • The number of days that a tourist can stay in Baguio City depends on his/her confirmed itinerary. Should the tourist decide to stay longer, this should be properly coordinated with the travel agency or travel coordinator for updating of the tourist’s registration in the VISITA app and for monitoring purposes. Re-tests shall be required when the tourist extends stay or proceeds to another destination on the 6th day after the first negative test results.

What travel destinations are open?

Take note that due to the GCQ, the tourism and hospitality industry, including hotels, inns, restaurnts, cafes, and the like will have limited operations.

*TOURISM OFFERINGS IN THE NEW NORMAL

  • Garden Visit/Spiritual Healing @ Mirador Hill Jesuit Villa and Retreat House
  • Farm Activities/Nature Tripping/Buying Dairy Products @ Baguio Dairy Farm
  • Park Visits (Burnham Park, Mines’ View Park, Botanical Garden, Sunshine Park, Wright Park)
  • Shopping Local at Baguio Public Market
  • Shopping Pasalubong @ Good Shepherd
  • Taste Local Cuisine Offerings (Bistro Lokal, Oh My Gulay, Vincent’s Place, etc.)

What transportation systems are available to use?

  • Within Baguio: Taxis, PUJs (50% capacity)
  • Inter-Regional Public Transport: None yet

Which hotels and restaurants have been authorized to operate?

What are the steps to follow once I arrive in Baguio? What are the protocols of the LGU that I need to know?

After approval and confirmation of travel, tourist/s should observe the following guidelines:

During Travel

  • Each traveler must always have with them their uploaded documents either saved e-copies or printed hardcopies, together with the QTP.
  • Tourists can only use pre-determined safe pit stops along the travel corridor of Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor for purposes of stopovers (eating and personal necessities). No side-trips or stop-overs will be allowed in areas not listed as safe pitstops.
  • Health protocols shall be conducted in every pit stop, such as temperature check and digital check in/out.

Upon Arrival

  • Present QTP and documents in the Triage and Testing Centers (TTC) at the border or in LGU-designated areas.
  • In the designated TTC, follow processes for validation of health declaration by health officers who will, if only necessary, recommend further tests, such as X-Ray and confirmatory COVID-19 tests.
  • For those who will undergo COVID-19 testing, tourist/s shall wait for results, depending on turnaround time, either at the TTC or at the hotel/accommodation in isolation. Tourist can only start their itinerary after negative results are released. If results turn out positive, patient will be subjected to health protocols as per local health officer's advice.
  • Upon clearance from TTC, tourist/s shall have an updated account profile in the VISITA app so they can immediately proceed to their pre-booked hotel.

Upon Check-in

  • Present QTP to the accommodation front desk for digital check-in. Accommodation establishments will be able to check through the process if guest/s have confirmed booking and have undergone triage. Guest/s may be advised to return to TTC if found to have skipped procedure.
  • Digital check-in/out must always be done whenever tourist goes in and out of the accommodation facility. Regular temperature check, other sanitation protocols and mandated SOPs for accommodation establishments shall be done and complied with whenever coming back from tourism establishments and tourist sites.
  • Guests staying for “staycations” or “workations” must stay in the accommodation premises during the entirety of their stay, unless with prior arrangements and coordination with the hotel.

During Guided Tour

  • Tourists are only allowed in the establishments or sites that are DOT-accredited and issued with Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAOs) by DOT or concerned agencies, as part of the confirmed itinerary, to be accompanied by accredited tour guide. Any modifications to the itinerary must be coordinated with the tour operator or tour guide.
  • Tourists must check-in/out in tourism establishments and tourist sites through the check-in/out module of the VISITA app for contact tracing purposes; health protocols such as temperature check and wearing of face masks shall be required.
  • For tourists on staycation and might want to go out to tour, they can only do so when arranged by tour operator or tour guide.

Upon arriving in Baguio, am I supposed to get another RT-PCR test? If yes, how and where can I get this? Who will shoulder the expenses?

  • If stay is within the five-day validity of your test, there’s no need for re-test. Testing on-site upon arrival at entry processing centers will remain an option for tourists.
  • Re-tests using RT-PCR or other types allowed by DOH shall be required when the following occurs:
  1. When tourist extends stay or proceeds to another destination on the 6th day after the first negative test results.
  2. When tourist starts to manifest symptoms for COVID-19.
  3. When tourist deviates from the itinerary without coordination and/or cannot be contacted by tour operator or tour guide within four (4) hours. In such case, assistance of the Philippine National Police may be sought.

Whether or not the LGU administers an RT-PCR test to the arriving tourist, should I still quarantine in my hotel for x of days before going out? If yes and during the quarantine period, will the accommodation, food and other necessities be covered by the tourists or will the hotel or LGU take care of the expenses?

  • Quarantine for arriving tourists is only applicable to those who opted to undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival or to those who have to undergo confirmatory COVID-19 tests upon the recommendation of health officers. In this situation, quarantine areas could either be at the Triage and Testing Centers (TTC) or at the hotel/accommodation where they shall wait for results while in isolation, the duration of which shall depend on turnaround time. During this waiting period, expenses on accommodation, food and other necessities shall be covered by the tourist/s. Tourist/s can only start their itinerary after negative results are released.
  • For situations other than the above, arriving tourists could go directly to their pre-booked hotel after undergoing triage and commence their tours based on their confirmed itinerary.

In case the LGU administers another RT-PCR test upon arrival and I test positive, what will happen to me? Will I be quarantined in a government facility? If yes, for how many days and who will shoulder the expenses?

  • For the above circumstances, if test result turns out positive, patient will be turned over to health care officials who shall advice and recommend health management procedures depending on official diagnosis. If patient is quarantined in a government-owned isolation facility, the stay is free of charge with provision for the basic needs. But if private hospitals are preferred, expenses will be covered by the patient.

If I’m not a Covid-19 carrier and already allowed to go out in Baguio, should I wear a face mask with face shield wherever I go?

  • Wearing of face masks and face shields in public places such as public markets, supermarkets, groceries, malls, shopping centers and government offices is mandatory in Baguio City, enforced through Executive Order No. 126, series of 2020 issued by the City Government of Baguio.

Am I allowed to go anywhere I want or do I have to secure a travel pass/permit whenever I head out of the hotel or when I book a tour?

  • Tourists are only allowed in the establishments or sites that are DOT-accredited and issued with Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) by DOT or concerned agencies, as part of the confirmed itinerary, and must be accompanied by an accredited tour guide. Any modifications to the itinerary must be coordinated with the tour operator or tour guide.
  • Digital check-in/out must always be done whenever tourist goes in and out of the accommodation facility. Regular temperature check, other sanitation protocols and mandated SOPs for accommodation establishments shall be done and complied with whenever coming back from tourism establishments and tourist sites.

If I'm about to leave Baguio, what are the steps I must follow?

  • There are no additional requirements needed for departing tourists for as long as they have adhered to their confirmed itinerary. However, re-entries to point of origin or home province or town shall be subjected to the LGU’s existing prescribed protocols and requirements such as mandated testing or mandated home quarantine.

Will I be tested again prior to departing Baguio? If yes, where and how will I get tested? How much?

  • Testing prior to departing Baguio City is an option for tourists and not mandatory, but this is available at the Central Triage at the Baguio Convention Center or at DOH-accredited private testing centers.

Is there a way for me to get a free RT-PCR test before my departure?

  • All tests prior to arrival, upon arrival, during stay, and before departure shall be shouldered by the tourist.

If I decide to get a rapid or swab test prior to departing Baguio and it turns out positive, will I be quarantined in Baguio? Who will shoulder my meals/accommodation? How many days will I be quarantined?

  • If a test is conducted prior to departure and turns out positive, patient is turned over to health care officials who shall advice and recommend health management procedures depending on official diagnosis. If patient is quarantined in a government-owned isolation facility, the stay is free of charge with provision for the basic needs. But if private hospitals are preferred, expenses will be covered by the patient.

Is there an emergency facility in Baguio in case I catch COVID-19 in the middle of my trip for some unknown reason? If yes, what is the first number that I should call for assistance?

  • There are a number of emergency facilities in Baguio, mostly in hospitals, for COVID 19 cases. If a tourist catches COVID 19 while in the City, he/she should immediately contact the Baguio City COVID 19 Hotline at (074) 442-1900/ 442-1905/ 661-1455/ 0927-6480298 (Globe)/ 0999-6784335.

If I catch COVID-19 in Baguio, will the local government pay for my hospital bills?

  • If a tourist catches COVID 19 while in Baguio and is confined at a hospital, expenses are shouldered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) but patients may co-pay depending on the seriousness of their infection.

Who will shoulder the tests prior to traveling?

  • All COVID 19 tests for tourists, conducted prior to entering Baguio City, while inside Baguio City, or before leaving Baguio City, shall be at the at the expense of the tourist.

Is DIY travel allowed in Baguio?

  • At the moment, DIY tours are still not allowed in Baguio. When the City transitions to expanded travel corridor, another set of guidelines shall be issued for such kind of tours.

Can I book an Airbnb or does my accommodation have to be DOT accredited?

  • For the safety and protection of tourists, all accommodation arrangements must be booked at DOT-accredited accommodation establishments that were issued the necessary Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) by DOT and/or other concerned agencies.

Can I stay in my friend’s house instead of booking in a DOT accredited establishment?

  • Not yet. For safety precautions and monitoring purposes, only pre-booked accommodations in DOT-accredited hotels are allowed.

How many # of tourists are allowed to enter Baguio to ensure that social distancing is followed?

  • The Baguio VISITA app only allows 200 tourist registrants per day (at any given time) for now.

Does the LGU have the capacity to handle sudden spike in covid-19 infections among tourists?

The City of Baguio is prepared in case of a sudden spike of COVID-19 infections with the increase in capacity of the city’s critical health care and isolation centers, the addition of newly trained contact tracers, and the creation of a new triage center for tourists at the CAP Convention Center.

Below is an inventory of Baguio City’s improved health care carrying capacity sufficient for an effective pandemic response:

  • Isolation Facilities: 180 beds at the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit (Sto. Nino Jesus Medical Center), 112 beds at Teacher’s Camp Isolation Unit
  • Triage Facilities: 3 triage facilities at the Convention Center Central Triage and CAP- John Hay Trade and Cultural Center
  • Molecular Laboratories: 2 labs (1 public, 1 private)
  • Hospitals: 6 hospitals with a total of 79 bed wards, 219 isolation beds, 30 ICU beds, and 18 mechanical ventilators
  • Contact Tracing: 40 teams, 781 members

How ready is Baguio to accept tourists?

  • By standards set by the Department of Tourism through the Domestic Tourism Triage that determines the readiness of Philippine destinations in re-opening tourism activities, Baguio City is prepared to accept tourists in a manner that domestic tourism can stimulate the local economy without sacrificing the health and safety of the local populace.

How often does Baguio test its tourism service providers?

  • COVID-19 testing for tourism service providers in Baguio City is supposed to be done every after five days. Alternately, tourism service providers in DOT-accredited establishments also practice a four-day work, 10-day quarantine cycle.

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