DavOr tourists required to get prior booking to popular sites; ‘walk-ins’ prohibited

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 7 Oct) – The provincial government of Davao Oriental is requiring all visitors who are planning to stay at any tourist destination for at least a night to make a prior booking as walk-in guests are prohibited amid the rising coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Davao Region.

A skimboarder walks towards the shoreline amidst the swirling waves in Dahican Beach in Mati City, Davao Oriental . Mindanews file photo

In his Executive Order 40 released last October 5, Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang said that all guests would be required to present a confirmed booking with any accommodation establishments accredited by the Department of Tourism-Davao at the point of entry to the tourist destination.

The governor also ordered the accommodation establishments and other tourism enterprises to provide local tourists with an option to reserve and pay online.

He added that prior to boarding any transport service going to the tourist destination, the guests would be screened using a thermal scanner or thermometer gun and would be asked to fill out the health declaration forms through a mobile application or other contactless means.

Visitors in groups, particularly biker/rider groups, who intend to visit Davao Oriental are likewise advised to have prior booking to their destination of choice, according to Dayanghirang.

Only the guests who will be cleared during mandatory screening can proceed to the site. Those who have fever or manifest flu-like symptoms will be referred to the doctor on duty, to the nearest hospital, or to the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team in accordance with the prescribed protocol of the Department of Health (DOH).

The province is popular for its white sand beaches, particularly Dahican in Mati City, and home to Mt. Hamiguitan, which was inscribed on the world heritage list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2014.

Dayanghirang tasked the Provincial and City/Municipal COVID Task Force to monitor the compliance of all tourism and tourism-related enterprises with the minimum health standards and recommend to business owners what measures to be implemented.

The governor warned to take legal action against the business owners who fail to follow the minimum health standards and implement the recommendations of the task force.

He threatened that any erring businesses could face closure orders.

As of October 6, DOH-Davao reported a total of 3,337 COVID-19 cases with 2,614 recoveries and 101 deaths. Of the total cases, 2,148 cases were reported in Davao City, 240 in Davao de Oro, 382 in Davao del Norte, 207 in Davao del Sur, 84 in Davao Occidental, and 276 in Davao Oriental. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)