Tourists entering Bohol no longer need to undergo quarantine upon their arrival as the health protocol was deemed “impossible” to implement if the province is to successfully open its tourism industry, an official said on Friday, a little over a week before the world-renowned resort island reopens its doors to visitors.
Provincial Administrator Kathyrin Pioquinto, in a virtual press briefing also joined by Gov. Art Yap and several other officials, said tourists will instead be required to secure a negative PCR test result 72 hours or three days before their entry into the province.
They may opt to have themselves swabbed when they arrive but they will have to be quarantined while waiting for their PCR test results.
Visitors will also have to be tested again on the fifth day if they stay in the province for more than five days.
According to Pioquinto, it would not be feasible to reopen tourism in the province if visitors would still be quarantined upon their arrival.
“Based on the discussion while we were talking about the IRR for the new normal together with the Provincial Tourism Council and other stakeholders, they’re saying it’s really impossible to reopen tourism in Bohol if you are required a five-day quarantine,” she said.
Bohol is set to reopen its doors to tourists on November 15 through its so-called “tourism bubble,” one of several of its kind that are to be launched in other popular destinations such as Boracay and Palawan.
However, Pioquinto noted that the province will initially focus on catering to MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions) activities before accepting small groups or individuals.
“Pursuant to your [Gov. Art Yap] pronouncement that in order to build confidence we will start with MICE before we totally open to individuals,” she said.
According to the official, several groups have already expressed interest in holding MICE activities in the province such as conventions and meetings.