Siargao, the world-class surfing capital of the Philippines, has officially reopened to local tourists last Monday, November 23. But the island is expected to welcome the influx of Filipino travelers starting December 1, as it is only then when the flights to the island will resume.
The Siargao local government has set minimum health standards and COVID-19 testing for arriving tourists, in compliance with local COVID-19 management procedures, as well as directives from Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Travelers are expected to observe health and safety protocols.
A curfew is also imposed on the island from 11pm to 4am.
Here’s everything you need to know about traveling to Siargao in the new normal:
Travelers arriving via Surigao City or Sayak Airport will be required:
- An e-Health pass with a valid ID
- Negative RT-PCR result taken within 48 hours from point of origin (“If RT-PCR is taken more than 48 hours of departure from point of origin, a negative antigen swab will be required on the day of arrival,” the DOT said.)
- A five-day confirmed booking from an accommodation establishment with a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) or Provisional Certificate of Authority to Operate (PCAO) from the DOT
- A round-trip ticket or travel details
Tourists from the province of Surigao del Norte will be required:
- An e-Health Pass with a valid ID
- Certificate from Barangay Captain that the traveler is not a close contact
- Confirmed booking from an accredited DOT-accommodation establishment
For hotels and resorts in Siargao, these are the requirements before they can operate:
- Business permit
- A Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) from the DOT
- E-health System Registration
- E-health Pass or QR code reader
- New normal protocols approved by the municipal health office
Available tours, experiences, and transportation services in Siargao:
- Convenient transfer between Surigao and Siargao Island is available via Evaristo Ferry, with discounts for students, seniors, and PWDs
- Surfing lessons with transportation included (pick-up from General Luna)
- Day tour (Sohoton Cove, Club Tara, Luminous Water, and Jellyfish Sanctuary)
- Tri-island hopping (Guyam Island, Naked Island, and Daku Island)
The reopening of Siargao was confirmed by General Luna, Surigao del Norte Mayor Cecilia L. Ruson through an executive order, the DOT said. Siargao’s reopening is touted to be a win-win for beach-lovers and the locals: everyone who loves the sea will once again enjoy the beauty of the teardrop-shaped island, as the people of Siargao will regain their livelihood.
Words by Miguel Flores
Featured image by Stephen Green Price & Adel Newman on Shutterstock