Due to the threat of the coronavirus disease or COVID-19, the office of the municipal government of Sagada announced the suspension of eco-tourism activities in the popular tourist destination on February 13.
Just two weeks after the closure was announced, Sagada has lifted the rule, albeit with new regulations put in place for those who wish to visit the town which is home to the famous hanging coffins, Igorot traditions, cool weather, and scenic mountain views.
According to a report from CNN Philippines, Sagada Mayor James Pooten, Jr. signed an order on February 21 that lifts the suspension on eco-tourism activities in the mountain highlands.
Mayor Pooten said that the order does not include popular Sagada activities like spelunking to prevent close contact among visitors and sunrise viewing as a precautionary measure to avoid mass gatherings.
The mayor said that tours can only start at 7:00 a.m. and visitors will need to undergo health screenings upon their arrival in Sagada. The health assessment will be done when registering at the Tourism Information Center and when checking in at accommodations and before a tour starts.
Meanwhile, the local government unit of Sagada has also advised innkeepers, owners of private establishments, and tour guides to come up with protocols on COVID-19, the report added.
The lifting of the rule comes as there have been no reported persons under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs) in Sagada, The Manila Times reported.
Visitors to Sagada, which totaled to 4,722 local and foreign tourists starting on February 5, have not shown any symptoms of COVID-19 based on the monitoring by the Department of Health. (DOH).
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