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This Week in Northern Luzon (October 10 to 16, 2020)

Ilocos Norte opens for tourism with strict safety guidelines!

By: Antonette Louise Guiao | October 10, 2020
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Northern Luzon, safety guidelines, lockdowns, Quarantine Updates, Health News, COVID-19, social distancing

The province of Ilocos Norte finally reopens its doors for tourism, but not without rolling out strict safety guidelines before entry and upon arrival in the place. The City of Baguio continues to impose lockdowns over areas with high recorded cases and implement new protocols for those who wish to hold mass gatherings under the new normal. It is also currently exploring new ways of fighting the virus while keeping up its contact tracing activities that lead to discoveries of new cases in the city. Read on for this week’s complete updates on Northern Luzon.

Quarantine Updates

Some Baguio areas under provisional lockdown

Purok Greenhills, Purok Divisoria, Purok Tondo, and Purok Ayala-A and Ayala-B will remain under provisional lockdown until further notice. As per the memorandum, the entry and exit into the lockdown areas shall be restricted to the following people, considering they haven’t had flu-like symptoms in the past 10 days and are not symptomatic:

• Barangay officials
• Healthcare workers
• Social workers
• Uniformed personnel
• Emergency response service providers
• Cargo and logistic services
• Employees of government services and private establishments
• Persons authorized by Barangay officials to procure food and other basic necessities for residents
• Utilities of water, electricity, telecommunications and waste management
• Members of the media
• Personnel of security agencies [1 & 2]

Meanwhile, the hard lockdown over Barangay Sto. Nino-Slaughter was lifted by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong on October 5, 2020.

Ilocos Norte reopens for tourism

The province of Ilocos Norte finally reopens for tourism after being under quarantine for six months. It started accepting visitors from the Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor composed of Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, and Baguio City last October 1, 2020. Ilocos Norte Tourism released a pre-arrival list that all guests must do before entry in the province:

1. Plan tours only with accredited travel agents or tour operators.
2. Book your stay only at accredited accommodation establishments.
3. Get tested. RT-PCR tests must be taken within 48 hours prior to arrival.
4. Pre-register travel at
5. Request a Safe Pass entry account at or via SafePass Portal on Facebook Messenger.
6. Bring all your documents (confirmed accommodation booking, travel agent or operator for tours, confirmed tour itinerary, medical certificate, most recent COVID-19 test result) for verification.
7. Travel safely and stop only at designated DOT pit stops.

The Provincial Government of Ilocos published a list of guidelines on the reopening of tourism in the province which can be found on their official Facebook page. [3 & 4]

Health News

New Baguio COVID-19 cases discovered through contact tracing

Sixty-three people in Baguio City who had exposure to COVID-19 tested for the virus last October 2, 2020. The new cases were tagged by the contact tracers of the city, which now makes a total of 1,043 confirmed cases in Baguio, with 486 active cases, 543 recoveries, and 14 deaths. The City Health Services Office said that the contacts who dominated the new batch came from the province’s two major clusters, while the rest came from other smaller groups. Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong warned that more cases can still be expected with the continuation of the city’s contact tracing activities. [5]

Baguio City explores AI technology for COVID-19 fight

Baguio City is exploring other emerging technologies that can help in virus detection in the city. The city agreed to serve as a pilot testing site for the country’s antigen test study and has recently also considered the conduct of a joint research on the artificial-intelligence powered diagnostic algorithm developed by NTT DATA Company that uses medical images of COVID-19 patients. One thousand individuals in the province are going to participate in the AI process starting October 3, 2020. These individuals will include police trainees and personnel, caddies, and food handlers. [6]

Baguio announces new requirement for social gatherings

From September 30 to October 14, all birthdays, weddings, and other familial interactions in Baguio City will require close supervision from health workers. Following the outbreak in the province, Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued an order that states that social gatherings that will be celebrated in commemoration of personal or family milestones will be allowed under strict monitoring by the medical community.

If the event is held at home, the barangay and designated health workers must be notified and all guidelines for social distancing must be implemented. If the gathering will be held in hotels or convention halls, the venue must be inspected by the City Health Services Office. As much as possible, gatherings should only involve close family members, and relatives who have low immunity due to age or other medical conditions shall be restricted. [7]

Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Northern Luzon.

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About Antonette Louise Guiao
Antonette is a writer, a night owl, an extrovert, and a BTS ARMY. Her spare time is consumed by drawing digital vector art, sleeping, binge-watching Netflix series, and learning how to cook. An adventurer by heart, she aspires to travel the world with her family, try extreme outdoor activities, and taste all sorts of food in different countries.
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