Bacolod sets aside RT-PCR test for vaxxed Western Visayas, Negros Oriental travelers

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia has set aside the negative RT-PCR test result requirement for fully vaccinated individuals traveling to Bacolod City from any point in Western Visayas and Negros Oriental.

Western Visayas and Negros Island are all under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

Leonardia lifted the negative RT-PCR test result requirement for fully vaccinated individuals in Executive Order No. 3 Series of 2022, which he signed Saturday, January 22, and released Sunday.

Iloilo Mayor Jerry Treñas told DIGICAST NEGROS he is also issuing a similar order in response to the move of Leonardia.

Frank Carbon, Weesam Express operator, said Bacolod-Iloilo fastcraft operations will most likely resume on Tuesday.

Fastcraft operations between the two cities had halted with the imposition of the RT-PCR requirement because of a considerable drop in passengers, he said.

“We must learn how to live with the virus and adjust to it accordingly and cautiously,” Leonardia said Sunday.

Leonardia said he issued E.O. No. 3 to strike a balance between ensuring Bacolod residents’ health and sustaining the local economy by minimizing the loss of jobs and livelihood opportunities, and slowing down of economic activities.

The mayor, in his EO, said travelers from Western Visayas LGUs and Negros Oriental to Bacolod City must have online BaCTrac registrations.

Those who have been fully vaccinated or have received their booster dose must present their vaccination cards.

He said for those who remain unvaccinated or have received only the first dose of a two-dose vaccine series, should present at their ports of origin and destination a negative Rapid Antigen Test result certified by a DOH-accredited laboratory that administered the RAT within 24 hours before boarding at their port of origin.

They must also present a valid identification card and must pass a symptom screening at the port/s of entry on arrival in Bacolod City, the mayor said.

They must strictly comply with existing minimum public health standards, he added.

Under E.O. No. 3, all government officials and public sector personnel on official business are allowed unimpeded travel into Bacolod City from any area regardless of the alert level status, provided that they present a valid ID issued by their government agency, vaccination card for those who are fully vaccinated and an original or certified true copy of their travel order.

They must also pass a symptom screening at the air or seaport upon arrival and must comply with existing minimum public health standards.

Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated government officials and personnel are still required to present a negative RAT within 24 hours before boarding at their point of origin.

Those who present falsified/fake or tampered documents, such as the vaccination cards or laboratory certifications on RAT results will be denied entry, and will be liable for prosecution under the law, Leonardia added.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has not lifted his order requiring travelers from Negros Oriental to present negative RT-PCR test results on entry into Negros Occidental.*

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