After months of quarantine, businesses are starting to reopen in Palawan
. Along with establishments such as restaurants and malls, popular tourist attractions
were also opened to locals in order to reboot the local economy.
In June 2020, several tourism activities such as scuba diving, island hopping, and land-based tours were reopened, but only to residents of the Calamian group of islands, which includes Busuanga, Calauit, Coron, and Culion. In addition, popular tourist attractions
like the Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, and Barracuda Lake were reopened to tourists as well. Then in late November 2020, the reopening was expanded to local domestic tourists nationwide.
To ensure safety, the rules for modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) are required to be followed. Tourists aged 15 to 65 are also required to undergo RT-PCR coronavirus testing within 72 hours before entering Coron and test negative.
Restrictions are also implemented in terms of activities and age. Only 250 people per day are allowed on island tours and beaches. For scuba diving, only 30 persons will be accommodated daily.Tourist boats will also be limited to carry half of their original passenger capacity to enforce strict social distancing. Hand sanitizers and alcohols should also be provided to guests by boat operators.
In the middle of 2020, the DOT stated that they also plan to implement a ‘travel bubble’ that has been practiced by nearby ASEAN countries. The travel bubble will prioritize tourist destinations in areas that are COVID-free or have a low number of cases.