Fastcraft trips between Bacolod and Iloilo cities will resume at the end of the month but those headed for towns and cities of Negros Occidental will be swabbed for COVID-19 tests, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said today.
They will be swabbed and quarantined, anyway their test results will be out in three days, he said.
The provincial government is also willing to swab those headed for Bacolod City if they cooperate for the good of everybody, Diaz added.
However, he said mandatory COVID-19 testing of those headed for Bacolod is up to the city government. Bacolod is a highly urbanized city that is not under Negros Occidental.
Travel between Bacolod and Iloilo cities had earlier been halted because of the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Jose Venancio Vero, Maritime Industry Authority regional director, said Ocean Jet and Weesam Express will resume their fastcraft trips on October 31, while SuperCat will resume on November 1.
It was agreed that each company will have one trip a day, he said.
Passengers, who will be limited to residents of Western Visayas, will have to present government issued identification cards to board the vessels, Vero said.
Social distancing will also be practiced where passengers will have to sit one seat apart, and must wear masks and faceshields, he added.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia in Executive Order No. 67, Series of 2020, allowing the resumption of travel between Bacolod and Iloilo cities, said the passengers must also comply with the contact tracing protocol of Bacolod City.*