AS OF JANUARY 3rd, the Department of Health (DOH) reports over 4,084 new cases of COVID-19 infection recorded within the past 14 days. The health department said that this surge of new cases may be driven by the Omicron variant..
Amidst this surge of new COVID-19 cases and the threat of the Omicron variant, some local government units (LGUs) are starting to think and implement travel restrictions for both tourists and locals. Notably, these restrictions are being implemented and thought of by LGUs in among the country’s top tourist destinations.
Amidst the threat of the Omicron variant, Baguio is no longer approving leisure travel requests to the city starting January 2nd. In an advisory, the City of Pines’ LGU states that they will reject all pending travel requests but will honor pre-approved requests with issued QTP.
Persons with pre-approved requests will be allowed entry on their declared travel dates and will still be subject to mandatory triage. However, Baguio LGU reserves the right to change this policy for pre-approved requests with prior announcement.
On the other hand, authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) and essential or official travel must be registered to this website provided by the Baguio LGU and will still be subject to documentation requirements and triage health screening.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos announced on January 3rd that individuals unvaccinated against COVID-19 will have more restricted movement in the capital region with approval from the Metro Manila Council of mayors.
As Alert Level 3 is imposed upon the National Capital Region, unvaccinated persons are not allowed to go outside their residences except when going to work or procuring essential goods such as food, water, and medicine. Unvaxxed people are now restricted from entering malls, restaurants, and other public areas, as well as public transportation except when going to work and procuring essential goods. These restrictions are also applied to partially vaccinated individuals.
Abalos also adds that unvaxxed individuals who are reporting to work on-site will have to show a negative RT PCR test result every two weeks.
The MMDA Chairman also clarified that these restrictions are “temporary measure lamang.”
Bulacan now has 24 checkpoints at borders it shares with Metro Manila, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija. Authorities are only allowing people carrying essential goods and people with vaccination cards to enter the province.
The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) also announced restrictions for unvaccinated individuals entering the freeport. Unvaxxed persons now need to present a negative RT PCR test result taken within 24 hours before arriving in Subic. Only vaccinated individuals are allowed to enter the zone without necessarily taking the RT PCR test.
Western Visayas (Region 6) is currently experiencing low rates of infection so far. However, as a precaution, LGUs have agreed to enact travel restrictions effective on January 3rd.
In Iloilo, an executive order from Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. extends Alert Level 2 status in the province and requires the RT PCR test with a negative result within 72 hours before travel to the province for both residents and non-residents regardless of the vaccination status. The same process is being required for APORs but is subject to the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
In Bacolod, Mayor Evelio Leonardia ordered tighter border security on January 3rd after an allegedly recovered patient infected with the Omicron variant tested positive on December 31st. RT PCR tests are now required for travelers to the city but fully vaccinated individuals are exempted from this mandate. In addition to that, S-Pass registration is also required.
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