Fully vaccinated travelers to Negros Occidental will no longer need to present a negative RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Test result — only their vaccination cards and approved S-PaSS — after the province was placed on Alert Level 2 effective Feb. 16 to 28, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said.
Lacson said that these fully vaccinated travelers must come from areas under Alert Level 2, although he said the provincial government might also give consideration to those from Alert Level 3 since the COVID-19 active cases all over the country have been declining.
The neighboring Iloilo City, Iloilo Province, and Guimaras in Region VI, as well as Zamboanga City in Region IX, Davao de Oro and Davao Occidental in Region XI, and South Cotabato in Region XII, remain on Alert Level 3 until the end of this month. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas already appealed to the national Inter-Agency Task Force to also deescalate the alert category of the high-urbanized city.
The Negros Island, Bacolod City, Metro Manila, and the rest of local government units nationwide are on Alert Level 2.
The Department of Health-Western Visayas also classified Negros Occidental as low risk area for COVID-19, and Bacolod City as moderate risk area.
Asked for the possible increase of flights between Manila and the Bacolod-Silay Airport, as well as Cebu, Lacson said they are not discussing this yet.
He noted that COVID-19 active cases in Negros Occidental are down to double digits from three digits, in previous weeks.
COVID active cases in Negros Occidental dropped to 2,039 as of Feb. 14, from a peak of 3,449 on Feb. 1.
Provincial IATF action officer Rayfrando Diaz said he is hopeful that normal activities, such as sports, in-person classes, and other social activities will resume soon, as the province started the inoculation of children 5 to 11 years old against COVID-19 on Valentine’s Day.
A total of 1,112 minors availed of the expanded pediatric vaccination at the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City Feb. 14. — GB