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Bohol Tourist Requirements and Guidelines | COVID-19 New Normal

Starting November 15, 2020, travelers from the Philippines can once again discover Bohol’s countryside attractions and beaches. But with the threat of COVID-19 pandemic, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has announced a set of guidelines and tourist requirements to comply before you make your trip to the home of the Chocolate Hills. 

 

Bohol is open to residents and domestic tourists starting November 15, 2020 as long as they have a valid negative RT-PCR test result taken not earlier than 72 hours prior date of travel and fulfill the necessary requirements of the province.

Domestic tourists can only enter Bohol via the Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA) or other ports of entry like Tagbilaran City Port.

Here are the requirements that you need to prepare before going to Bohol: 

Confirmed hotel booking

All tourists must have confirmed hotel booking in Panglao and Dauis. The accommodation must have a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) from the Department of Tourism (DOT) or the Ultimate Bohol Experience (UBE) seal from Bohol’s Provincial Government. 

Secure a negative RT-PCR test result

The IATF has mandated a test-before-travel requirement. All domestic tourists must get a negative RT-PCR test result done within three days (72 hours) prior to the date of travel. Check out the list of accredited laboratories here.

Travelers who are staying for more than 5 days must have another RT-PCR test on the fifth day of their trip. 

In case of booking cancellations or last-minute changes to flight schedules, tourists may also opt to have their swab test upon arrival in Bohol at their own expense. In such case, tourists will be required to fill up a signed undertaking stating that they are willing to undergo strict hotel quarantine while waiting for the result of their test.

Locals may attend conventions, exhibitions, and events such as a wedding or a birthday as long as they agree to be quarantined for 5 days and have another negative RT-PCR result.

Online registation

Tourists must pre-register at Bohol’s tourist registration portal at tourism.bohol.gov.ph.The necessary information will be sent to you via email.

A personal QR Code will be assigned to each tourist. This will serve as the visitor’s electronic ID which will be scanned at the entrance and exits of the establishments and where the necessary information such as accommodation and tour bookings will be documented. Walk-in tourists are not allowed.

Book with DOT-accredited tour operators only 

Trips outside of the accommodation is only allowed if tourists have pre-arranged trips with DOT-accredited  and UBE certified travel agencies or tour operators only. Do-it-Yourself (DIY) or day tours are no longer allowed.

Observe strict quarantine

Tourists must follow strict quarantine requirements until their travel date. This includes wearing a mask and face shield, sanitizing hands regularly, and observing social distancing. 

Once you're in Bohol, make sure you follow these safety requirements:

Minimum health standards: Mask and face shield

All residents and domestic tourists must wear face masks, face shields, wash hands regularly and practice proper social distancing especially in public establishments. This is to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 disease.

Transport protocols

Upon arrival in Bohol, tourists should be picked up by the transport service of their accommodation or by a pre-booked transport service from an accredited operator and should be immediately transferred to the pre-booked accommodation. Stopovers from port/airport to accommodation and meeting friends, relatives, acquaintances outside of the tourist bubble are not allowed.

Both drivers and passengers must follow the “no face shield, no mask, no ride” policy, This includes public transportation in Bohol like buses, jeepneys, tricycles, and many more. These protection measures are highly essential, especially at provincial borders to limit the spread of COVID-19 disease.

Dining protocols

There are restaurants and food establishments in Bohol that offer dine-in services. Guests are expected to comply with dining procedures such as the usage of face masks, face shields and proper social distancing.

Restaurants and food establishments must strictly implement all health and safety protocols as stated in the national and local government regulations.

Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy the tourist spots of Bohol, which includes countryside attractions, beaches and other tourist spots like the iconic Chocolate Hills and Tarsier Sanctuary.

Visitor QR Code

All travelers must present their QR code at the entrance before leisurely exploring these tourist attractions.

Travel protocols

Residents and domestic tourists can only join tours organized by DOT-accredited and UBE certified tour operators. DIY tours are not allowed.

Health protocols

Wearing a face mask, face shield, and observing proper social distancing in these tourist spots strictly needs to be followed.

Bohol is the prime tourist destination for local and foreign travelers. It is accessible from major cities of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.  Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are the primary island groups of the Philippine archipelago.

Major jump-offs in Luzon include the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, and Clark International Airport in Angeles City, Pampanga. On the other hand, Davao International Airport in Davao City is the primary jump-off in Mindanao.

Aside from air travel, you also have the option to travel by sea. You can reach Bohol via fast craft from Cebu, Dumaguete, Siquijor, and Camiguin.

By Flights

Philippine Airlines' new B777Photo from Philippine Airlines

The Bohol-Panglao International Airport services the whole Bohol Province. This airport opened last November 2018. It replaced the old airport that used to be in Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol Province.

Bohol-Panglao Airport is dubbed as the “Green Gateway to the World” and the first “Eco-airport in the Philippines” because of its environment-friendly equipment and facilities.

Hence, you might want to book your accommodations in Panglao island itself or start your Bohol adventure in the tourist spots in Panglao for your convenience. If you booked a hotel in Tagbilaran, there is a regular air-conditioned bus from the airport to Island City Mall in Tagbilaran City.

At the moment, Bohol is only connected to domestic destinations. If you are coming from outside of the Philippines, you will have to fly to Luzon or Mindanao to catch a plane to Bohol.

From Luzon or Mindanao in the Philippines to Bohol

Traveling by air is the most convenient and hassle-free way to reach Bohol. If you’re coming from Luzon, you can fly directly from Ninoy Aquino International Airport  (NAIA) in Manila to the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.

It will take you approximately an hour and a half. Philippine AirlinesCebu Pacific, and Air Asia have daily flights from Manila to Bohol.

Another Luzon jump-off option you have is to travel from Clark International Airport in Angeles City. The trip will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have daily flights from Pampanga to Bohol.

If you're in Mindanao, you can fly to Bohol directly from the Davao International Airport. It will take just about an hour. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia have daily flights from Davao to Bohol. 

Aside from going to Bohol from Luzon and Mindanao, you can also opt to fly to Cebu first and explore the Queen City of the South's tourist spots. From there, you can hop on a fast-craft to Bohol at the Cebu Port which will be discussed below.

From Outside of the Philippines to Bohol 

As mentioned, Bohol is currently only connected to domestic destinations. If you’re coming from outside of the Philippines, you will have to fly to Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Airport.

NAIA is connected to several international destinations in North East and Southeast Asia, Middle East, Oceania, North America, and Europe. From the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, you can fly directly to the New Bohol International Airport in Panglao Island, Bohol.

By Ferry

Another way to reach Bohol is by traveling by sea. While this route may take longer, you will get to experience a different kind of adventure. Several ferries can take you to Bohol from Cebu, Dumaguete, Siquijor, Cagayan de Oro, and Camiguin. 

OceanJet, Trans-Asia Shipping Lines, and Super Shuttle Ferry are the leading ferry companies that travel to Bohol from various locations in Visayas and Mindanao.

OceanJet has daily trips to Bohol from Cebu, Dumaguete, and Siquijor. Trans-Asia Shipping Lines, Cokaliong Shipping Lines, and Lite Ferries have weekly trips to Bohol from Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao. Super Shuttle Ferry also has daily trips from  Camiguin to Bohol.

From Cebu by Ferry

If you’ll be coming from Cebu, the fastest way to reach Bohol is via fast craft. You will reach Tagbilaran Port after two hours. OceanJet has several trips from Bohol to Cebu every day. 

You can also take the slow ferry to get to Tagbilaran. Lite Ferries have daily trips to Tagbilaran. While a slow ferry is cheaper than the fast craft, it will take you four hours to reach Bohol.

There are five major passenger ports in Cebu; Pier 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Take note that OceanJet and Lite Ferries operate at Pier 1. You can purchase your tickets at the ferry terminal, but it is more advisable to buy them in advance.

From Dumaguete by Ferry

If you're coming from Dumaguete City, you can travel to Bohol by fast ferry. The trip to Bohol from Dumaguete will only take two hours. There are limited options when you're going to Bohol from Dumaguete.

OceanJet has two visits to Tagbilaran every day. If you're traveling during peak season, be sure to book your tickets in advance as they usually sell out quickly.

From Siquijor by Ferry

If you're in Siquijor, you can travel to Bohol by fast ferry. The trip will only take approximately one hour and a half. Similar to Dumaguete, you'll have limited options when traveling from Siquijor to Bohol.

OceanJet has one fast ferry trip from Larena, Siquijor to Tagbilaran Bohol every day. If you're going to Bohol during peak season, be sure to book your tickets in advance as they usually sell out quickly. 

From Camiguin by Ferry

If you’re in Camiguin, you can travel to Bohol via the Roll On, Roll Off (RoRo) vessel. A RoRo is a vessel commonly used to transport wheeled vehicles such as buses across the sea to various island provinces in the Philippines.

Super Shuttle only offers one daily RoRo trip from Balbagon Pier in Mambajao, Camiguin to Jagna Pier in Bohol. The trip will take approximately four hours. Jagna is at two hours away from Tagbilaran City, and one hour and a half from Panglao Island.

From Davao via Cagayan de Oro or Butuan by Ferry

No ferries are plying Davao to Bohol. However, you can head to Nasipit Port in Butuan or to Cagayan de Oro Port where you can take a ferry to Bohol. The trip from Butuan to Bohol can take five to seven hours, depending on the shipping line. While the journey from Cagayan to Bohol takes five hours.’

Lite Ferry offers two trips from Cagayan de Oro to Jagna every day. Trans-Asia Shipping Lines has three trips to Jagna every week. On the other hand, Cokaliong Shipping lines only have one trip to Jagna every week. 

Lite Ferries offer four trips from Nasipit to Jagna every week. The trip typically takes 7 hours. On the other hand, Cokaliong Shipping Lines has one trip from Nasipit to Jagna every week. The journey takes 5 hours.

Take note that the drive from Davao City to Nasipit is six hours, whereas the drive from Davao to Cagayan de Oro is five hours. These routes are a long way to get to Bohol. You can always fly directly from Davao to Bohol. But if you fancy a road trip through Mindanao, then this route can be quite an experience.  

72-hour Negative RT-PCR test result ,  Certificate of Confirmation with Endorsement (COCE)

Coordinate with the focal person of your receiving LGU. Submit your 72-hour negative RT-PCR test result if you prefer to be tested prior to travelling to Bohol or agree on the logistical preparations if you opt to undergo test upon arrival in Bohol.

Yes, however, RT-PCR testing upon arrival in Bohol is required.

No, you will be allowed to proceed with your activities. You will be released from your port of arrival, unless you exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.

Yes, saliva-based test result is also accepted in Bohol.

Yes. Prior coordination with the focal person of the receiving LGU is still needed to be issued a Certificate of Confirmation with Endorsement (COCE). The COCE is needed to purchase your boat ticket or upon check-in at the airport.

This is to inform the receiving LGU of your arrival and to allow the preparation of an isolation facility in the event that your test upon arrival in Bohol will render a positive result. This is also to prepare transportation and receiving team who will take you to the LGU quarantine facility for testing, in case you opt for a test upon arrival in Bohol.

RT-PCR testing cost is covered for individuals with PHILHEALTH. If the individual is an indigent, he/she must coordinate with the receiving LGU for assistance to facilitate zero payment. If not a PHILHEALTH member, he/she must register in order to become a member and avail of the free RT-PCR test. 

For those arriving without test and opted to be tested in Bohol, they will be transported by their receiving LGU and testing will be done at the LGU by the trained personnel from the RHU.







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