Starting yesterday, March 17, the City of Sipalay in Negros Occidental has opened its doors to travelers from other parts of Western Visayas (Region VI) and has also adopted the latest travel protocol where tourists within the province are no longer required to submit travel documents.
The new travel rules are among those provided in Executive Order (EO) 2021-006 issued by Mayor Maria Gina Lizares, adopting the Provincial Executive Order 21-18 signed by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson to adopt uniform travel protocols for land, air, and sea.
“Region 6 travelers shall now be allowed entry to the city provided they follow provincial and the local government requirements,” the directive stated.
Sipalay is well known as the "Jewel of the Sugar Island" and is located in Southern Negros. It is the province's top tourist destination for its picturesque beaches and exhilarating dive sites.
Although travelers from within the region will no longer be required to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR test, before their travel they will have to secure an approved printed copy of a travel coordination permit in which tourists can apply and register in S-PaSS.ph.
Upon arrival, travelers must pass symptoms screening at any provincial point of entry. Those with symptoms will be subjected to corresponding confirmatory tests and facility quarantine.
Meanwhile, tourists from outside Western Visayas will be allowed entry but should present negative RT-PCR test results valid only 72 hours from the date of swab extraction.
Accommodation establishments should still submit declaration forms of guests, even though under EO 2021-006, tourism online registration will no longer be required.
Providing upright thermal scanners and constantly monitoring their guests for symptoms, must also be done by the accommodation establishments.
Border checkpoints are strictly implementing symptoms screening and will deny entry to travelers who fail the screening, but the Sipalay travel form will no longer be required to enter the city.
Starting Wednesday, tourists traveling on public transport will already be allowed entry.
The modified general community quarantine in the city will be extended until March 31.
On March 3, the city government allowed accommodation establishments such as hotels, resorts, and inns to operate at 100 percent capacity as provided in EO 2021-005.
Source: Philippine News Agency (PNA)