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This Week in Boracay and Iloilo (January 30 to February 5, 2022)

Iloilo vaxxed tourists require to undergo a mandatory free swab test

By: Mira Maestrecampo | January 30, 2022
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The serial number of high cases in Boracay and Iloilo causes the downgrade in tourism and travel visits on the island and the imposing of stricter restrictions to help decrease the spread of the virus, mainly containing those people who are unvaccinated. Alert Level 4 is expected to be declared in Iloilo.

However, the government considers the balance between travel, economy, mobility of the people, and overall health of everyone. There are stricter regulations; there are also easing of travel between the regions under given circumstances that will not worsen the pandemic status that the country is currently experiencing, thus implementing heightened alert levels.

Quarantine News

Vaxxed tourists in Iloilo need not present RT-PCR test results but require to do a free mandatory swabbing.

The city mayor declared that Iloilo City no longer requires incoming travelers and returning residents to present a negative RT-PCR test result. Still, returning residents should be tested once they arrive. [1]

This mandatory swabbing on all incoming travelers in Iloilo City includes returning overseas Filipino workers and authorized persons outside of the residence.

Iloilo City government decided to scrap the requirement of a negative RT-PCR test result for travelers since RT-PCR tests in some areas in the country are expensive. Some results are released beyond the ideal time frame of 72 hours. Some passengers are faking their test results due to these circumstances. [2]

With all of these at hand, including the sudden rise of cases in the country due to the Omicron variant, the Iloilo City government shall require travelers to have the mandatory swab test in Iloilo for free since the Department of Health is continuously giving Iloilo RT-PCR tests.

Iloilo City is anticipated to be under Alert Level 4

Mayor Treñas expressed his thoughts that if active cases continue to rise, Iloilo City shall be placed under Alert Level 4. This alert level status is the second-highest quarantine level enforced by the Inter-Agency Task Force of the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Just recently, the Iloilo City Epidemiological Surveillance Unit tallied 1,274 new cases as of January 23, [4], and with this, Iloilo has been recorded to have the highest new cases in Western Visayas. [5]

Travel Updates

Eased borders and fewer travel requirements in Iloilo

Sea travel in Iloilo resumed operations last January 24, after it has eased travel restrictions by scrapping the RT-PCR test requirement for travelers.

In the current policy, Iloilo City has scrapped the RT-PCR test requirement for incoming travelers in the city.

Opening the borders and easing travel restrictions and requirements are promising developments following that most passengers are vaccinated. Fast craft operators have suspended trips temporarily due to the policy or travel requirement of presenting an RT-PCR test result due to the surge of COVID cases in Western Visayas. Easing travel requirements and restrictions in the region should also encourage other areas in Western Visayas to ease protocols and impose less strict travel requirements. Frank Carbon said these steps could also help the business sector—the Visayas Vice President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. [6]

Tourism in Boracay affected by the new COVID-19 surge

With this recent high rise of active cases, Boracay Island has only tallied over 30,000 tourist arrivals as of January 23. From over a hundred thousand tourist arrivals last December, tourism in Boracay is currently affected due to the surge of high COVID-19 cases.

Undeniably the continuous rise of COVID-19 cases has taken a toll on the tourism industry. With this, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion urges the government to allow negative antigen test results as a travel requirement for international travelers to revive tourism and airline industries. [8]

Health News

LGUs, medical frontliners to prepare

Due to the increasing number of active cases, local government units in Western Visayas are advised to be ready and to prepare their temporary treatment and monitoring facilities. These health facilities would need medical doctors and nurses who will take charge as the number of patients increases. Most of the hospital cases show mild symptoms; the Medical officer, Dr. Natalaray, advised LGUs should help n offloading the hospitals and admitting such patients to the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.

Visit Yoorekka Magazine for more travel and COVID-19 updates and guidelines in Boracay and Iloilo!

All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. However, while we are making our utmost effort to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the condition surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable, and the situation develops rapidly. Hence, some information and recommendations may have changed since this article was published. For the latest advice, visit DOH and your LGU's official websites.


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About Mira Maestrecampo
Mira - with a long surname - is a girl who dreams of becoming a news anchor someday, in God's perfect time. She loves to read books and eat different kinds of cheesy or saucy food. A coffee addict and a dog lover, she loves long hugs, hot coffee on an afternoon break with friends, or simply sleeping all day with her stuffed unicorns.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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