BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The city government of Sipalay, tagged the Jewel of the South, yesterday extended the temporary ban on the entry of tourists until September 15.
Mayor Maria Gina Lizares issued an executive order yesterday, extending the moratorium on tourism-related and non-essential travel to the city.
The EO also requires returning residents from high-risk areas in Negros Occidental to present a valid Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction negative test result.
Lizares said the RT-PCR test result shall be considered valid only for 14 days, starting from the date the swab was taken.
“The travel to Sipalay must be during the validity of the test result. Those who do not have valid RT-PCR results or have not been tested shall undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine in the local facility,” the mayor said.
Under the EO, all pre-booked accommodations of tourists covered for the duration of the moratorium shall be rebooked or refunded by the resorts and accommodation establishments.
Lizares said only essential travel will be allowed into Sipalay. These are for medical-related transactions, business transactions to open establishments, government-related transactions, delivery of goods and items, non-residents from non-high-risk areas who are working in Sipalay, and residents who are employed in non-high-risk areas.
Travel to Sipalay to visit relatives or friends, or for church-related activities, school-related transactions, and house-to-house retail selling, considered as non-essentials, is not allowed, the EO stressed.
Authorized Persons Outside Residence from private and government agencies, who are scheduled to arrive in Sipalay during the duration of the moratorium, shall be allowed to enter provided that they present their negative RT-PCR results.
Delivery of construction supplies to private constructions shall be allowed and firms are enjoined to hire local skilled workers.
“Non-residents who are hired for special installation or construction shall not be allowed to leave the construction area,” the EO added.
All travelers shall be subjected to existing checkpoint and local Covid-19 protocols, the EO said.
Public transport drivers, food and business establishments personnel, market and ambulant vendors, water station personnel, and office personnel directly transacting with clients are also mandated to wear face shields and masks.*