Easing Restrictions
Safety Protocol

Easing Restrictions

Jul 19, 2021, 3:44 AM
Roy Moraleta

Roy Moraleta

Columnist

THE whole Eastern Visayas region may ease again on Covid-19 restrictions as its rather relaxed MGCQ status stays until the end of this month.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque recently announced the latest advisory.

Vaccination Card will do

In Tacloban City, arriving fully vaccinated domestic travelers are no longer required of negative RT-PCR results. A domestic Vaccination Card would be enough, according to a report published by the Tacloban City Information Office.

Individuals traveling to Tacloban are told to secure Acceptance Letter through the city’s website www.baliktacloban.tacloban.gov.ph .

Earlier, the Department of Health regional office released an advisory reminding the local government units to observe strictly existing IATF protocols on admitting arriving travelers to their respective localities.

In a statement, the DOH has reiterated that the needed tests before travel should be limited to RT-PCR only, noting that antigen testing is never recommended for border control.

Easy hotel booking

In a rather hasty move, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, in his latest Executive Order No. 2021-07-028, has removed the restrictions on the admission of guests in hotels, inns, pension/lodging houses, and similar businesses.

Public places are now open

Included in the said EO is the lifting of restrictions on public face-to-face gatherings, as long as they followed minimum health protocols, the CIO report said.

“The Executive Order takes effect immediately and shall be enforced unless terminated.”

Coinciding with this latest move is the recent national IATF announcement allowing the children five years old and above to go out in open public places, playgrounds, and public plazas.

The entire region except for some localities with still rising cases of Covid-19 now remain under MGCQ status.

It was strict last month

Placed under GCQ for a couple of weeks last month, Tacloban City and several towns in Leyte were under heightened restrictions after its Covid-19 cases surged.

While Coronavirus in the region remains a health threat, recent cases seemed to have steadily declined.

In Ormoc City, Vice Mayor Leo Carmelo “Toto” Locsin, Jr., in a post, said they too, are subscribing to the latest protocol of the IATF. He said fully vaccinated individuals may just present their Vaccination Cards when arriving at the city borders.

“Pwede na nga ipakita na lang sa borders ug seaport ang vaccination card sa mga fully-vaccinated individuals sa ila pagsulod sa Ormoc.”(All they have to do is present the VC when arriving in Ormoc.)

He said, for those who have completed the doses, negative antigen, PRC saliva, or RT-PCR results for returning residents or visitors is no longer required.

Stricter still

Protocols may be stricter at the city land borders.

According to an official post, all arriving individuals are still required to have their QR codes scanned. The recently issued EO of Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez requires all individuals, who had been already over 20 days at the place they went to from the day they exited the city, to present a negative swab, rapid antigen, or saliva test on their return.

“Bisan kinsang tao (taga Ormoc man o dili) basta molapas og 20 days sa lugar nga ilang giadtoan gikan sa ilang pag exit scan sa border sa Ormoc, kinahanglan mag presentar og NEGATIVE swab, rapid antigen or saliva test ug QR code inig balik sa Ormoc,” the report said in the dialect.

The Ormoc EO is effective until July 31.

Biliran eases restrictions

Similar to the easing restrictions in Tacloban City, Biliran Governor Rogelio J. Espina signed last week EO No. 26 easing restrictions on returning residents, dining, establishments, and tourism sites, movement of fully vaccinated senior citizens, and a prohibition on mass gatherings.

It’s like normal now in Samar

In Catbalogan City, Samar, with its newly opened sleek Imelda Park at the Capitol Grounds, the city seemed to have transitioned already from Covid-19-normal to the usual normal. Hundreds packed the recently inaugurated park, with people young and old staying late in the night after the inauguration.

The incident prompted the local government authorities to impose quickly stricter protocols on all the park goers, reminding the public to observe the minimum health protocols – the use of facemasks and the consistent observance of social distancing.

The city is known for its penchant for disregard of the existing health protocols.


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