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Baguio suspends leisure travel requests due to Omicron, but pre-approved permits still valid

By Bim Santos Published Jan 03, 2022 12:02 pm Updated Jan 03, 2022 12:03 pm

Baguio City will still honor pre-approved leisure travel requests, even as the local government has temporarily suspended the issuance of new permits in light of threat posed by the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Baguio’s Visitor Information and Travel Assistance platform (VISITA), which is under the city’s tourism office, said leisure travel requests have been suspended starting Jan. 2 “until further notice.”

In addition, all pending travel requests “are considered rejected and not allowed entry.”

“In view of the threat of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, and the expected surge in cases, we are temporarily not allowing new requests for leisure travel on Baguio VISITA,” the Baguio City Tourism Office announced.

But those with pre-approved permits could still proceed to Baguio, according to the notice.

“All pre-approved travels with issued QTP (QR-coded Tourist Pass) will still be honored and allowed entry on declared travel date, still subject to mandatory triage upon entry,” the Baguio Tourism Office said in an announcement. “Such consideration may change in the future but with prior announcement, so keep posted.”

Travel requests of authorized persons outside of residences and official travels will be assessed “subject to documentary requirements and triage health screening” on the separate platform of hdf.baguio.gov.ph.

Following the entry of the more transmissible Omicron variant, the number of daily infections in the Philippines for the past few days have been substantially increasing. On Jan. 2, the Department of Health on Jan. 2 recorded 4,600 new cases, the highest single-day increase since Oct. From a positivity rate of 0.9% on Dec. 20, the number, which indicates the proportion of those who tested positive out of the total tested, has now jumped to 19.6%.