BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Preparations are now in place for the possible influx of tourists and other non-essential travelers to Bacolod following the executive order issued of Mayor Evelio Leonardia that allows their entrance to the city.
But Councilor Israel Salanga, who is in charge of the committee handling non-essential travelers, said several requirements should be submitted so a tourist can receive an acceptance letter allowing him or her to enter the city.
Salanga said among the requirements are the negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test taken within 72 hours of travel from point of origin, a two-way plane ticket, hotel reservations or address where they will be staying in Bacolod, and their itinerary, among others.
He added that, based on Executive Order 1, series of 2021 issued by Leonardia, individuals who opt to visit Bacolod for leisure, visit relatives, or to attend occasions such as weddings, baptisms, and other non-emergency activities are already allowed in Bacolod since the city is under the more relaxed Modified General Community Quarantine status.
Salanga added that he will announce the procedure in the submission of the requirements for non-essential travelers once they have finalized it.
As to overseas Filipino workers and locally stranded individuals, they can still return to Bacolod even if they do not have their swab test results as the EO requiring them to have a negative RT-PCR test result taken 72 hours before arrival will take effect on Monday yet.
That means they will still be swabbed upon their arrival in Bacolod. In case they have an available negative swab test result taken 72 hours before they arrived, they will be allowed to undergo home quarantine instead of being brought to a city facility for isolation, Salanga said.
Salanga reiterated that OFWs, who are members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and coming from countries earlier flagged by the Department of Foreign Affairs because of the presence of the new strain of Covid-19, will need to undergo additional 14-day quarantine even if they have negative swab test results.
OFWs from these countries need to present their certificates of quarantine and swab test results showing them negative for Covid, to Salanga’s staff stationed at the Bacolod-Silay Airport so they will be oriented.
The OFWs from countries with new Covid strains will be allowed to go home but their details will be submitted to their respective barangays for strict monitoring in the next seven days while they are under quarantine. Health declaration forms are also required for all travelers going to Bacolod that could be downloaded through https://tinyurl.com/bcdinbound.*