Local Tourism is now slowly reopening after long months of closing their borders. But tourists still need to take precautionary measures. One way to mitigate the spreading of the virus is to take a COVID-19 test before doing any traveling anywhere.
Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte initially requires tourists to present negative test results of the Reverse transcription-polymerase Chain Reaction test (RT-PCR) using swabs from their throat or nose. But now, a memorandum has been released on February 10 announcing that the province is now accepting either the saliva test or the swab through the nose or throat.
The Department of Health approved the use of the saliva for the Philippine Red Cross to start implementing the test for the Reverse transcription-polymerase Chain Reaction testing. This is considered the gold standard for checking pathogens. On January 25, they have opened the saliva-based testing service in their Mandaluyong Headquarters and Manila Laboratory. You can read more about the Philippin Red Cross Saliva Test from our recent article.
You may book your appointment online on either of the outposts and a fee of P2,000 pesos will be charged to you. You can either choose to pay through GCash or GrabPay. The test will only take about 10 minutes. But it is advised for you to be there at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. The results will be given to you within six to 12 hours via your email.
In addition, the Philippine Red Cross has partnered with SM Supermalls to provide drive-through saliva-based testing. Such SM malls include the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City and SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. The testing centers are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and the cost is still at P2,000.
In an interview with the Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on OneNews, she clarified that the saliva-based test on the RT-PCR can only be used by the Philippine Red Cross and that private laboratories offering this test may face sanctions.
Here are the travel requirements you may need to go to Siargao:
- Negative results on RT-PCR test, either swab-based or saliva-test
- A five day confirmed booking at an accredited accommodation establishment
- Your travel itinerary
- Roundtrip tickets
Attached are the Memorandum 20-015 and their Facebook post : BE Siargao - *BE SIARGAO FLASH NEWS* Be Prepared, Be... | Facebook