Negros Occidental will be open to tourists from other parts of the country starting Monday provided they test negative for COVID-19 prior to their arrival, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said Friday, March 12.
Private and public vehicles can also transport passengers to and from the Bacolod-Silay Airport starting Monday, he said.
Local government unit vehicles will not pick up incoming passengers since they no longer will be quarantined, Diaz explained.
However, there should be no overcrowding at the airport terminals and tourist destinations must observe health protocols, which include only accommodating 50 percent of their capacity, he said.
“The whole of Negros Occidental can now accept tourists. The LGUs and businesses are excited with summer approaching…we are doing it cautiously and slowly,” Diaz said.
The reopening of the provincial government-owned Mambukal Resort in Murcia that has been used as a COVID-19 quarantine area has not been discussed, he said.
There are no more quarantined persons at the resort that has been undergoing upgrading. It is ready any time for reopening depending on the decision of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, Diaz said.
The governor in a Zoom meeting with the mayors of Negros Occidental this morning informed them that the province will be enforcing national Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution 101 starting Monday that sets the rules for incoming passengers.
All travelers from outside of Western Visayas entering Negros Occidental must have a Stay Safe registration, S-PaSS approval, and negative RT-PCR test results issued not more than 72 hours prior to their date of travel to the province, he said.
The same will also be required of Negros Oriental residents entering Negros Occidental, Diaz said.
The Negros Occidental S-Pass system is operational and managed by the Provincial Incident Management Team, he added.
The S-Pass is mandated under Resolution 101 as the portal to be the used by all local government units for coordination of all travelers’ information, Diaz said.
All persons entering Negros Occidental will no longer be quarantined on arrival, he added.
Diaz said they will determine if more frequent flights to the Bacolod Silay Airport will be allowed after March. This will depend on the surge of COVID-19 cases in Manila and Cebu, and the emergence of other COVID variants in other areas, he added.
Travelers with negative COVID-19 results from their point of origin who opt to be tested again for free and quarantined on arrival in Negros Occidental may do so voluntarily, Diaz said.*