The DOT chief said there is availability of handwash station and footbath upon entry of the tourists, as well as proper observance of physical distancing.
The center is also an open-air facility which makes lesser transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“I was very impressed with your triage. May physical distancing, and it’s open air. I think that is what the residents want na walang makakalusot na may COVID. That is why there are strict protocols kasi we want to protect and we want to restart tourism safely,” Sec. Puyat stated.
On Oct. 20, the province of Ilocos Norte formally launched Phase II of the reopening of tourism under the “Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor”. This means, residents from the Luzon island can visit Ilocos Norte while safety and health protocols are in place.
Prior to the formal launching, the province has started welcoming tourists since Oct.15 wherein there are first four travelers from Baguio City and Antipolo City.
The triage center serves as the first stop of visiting tourists. This is where they present their travel documents and undergo rapid antigen test.
“May mga kasama kami na nauna, after 30 minutes nakuha na nila. It was fast. Maganda,” Arnel Fetalino, one of the tour managers who attended the launching of the Ridge and Reef Phase II in Ilocos Norte, shared his experience at the triage center.
As the tourism secretary toured around the province, she urges the public, especially from areas who are allowed, to experience the tourism offers of Ilocos Norte.
“Tourism is about experience and seeing the places. There are so many things to do in Ilocos Norte. The food is fantastic. ‘Find the One in Region One,’ Sec. Puyat added.
“Find the One in Region One” is the official branding of DOT Region I led by Regional Director Joseph Francisco Ortega.
Meanwhile, Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc said that the movement of tourists in the province are limited and strictly monitored to ensure safety of the locals in the province.
“I’d like to reiterate na our tourists are not roaming freely. Talagang monitored, regulated, and accompanied ang movement nila kasi one of our safeguards is delineating and minimizing yung socialization ng mga turista sa local community. But at the same time, we’ll find ways so that our tourists can patronize our local businesses,” the young governor said. (JCR/JPD/MJTAB, PIA Ilocos Norte)
By Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco