The City of Sipalay in Negros Occidental has extended the ban on tourism-related and non-essential travels within its jurisdiction for another 15 days, or until September 30.
“In response to the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status of Bacolod City, the city government and the local inter-agency task force of Sipalay deemed it necessary to complement the IATF-EID resolution by extending the moratorium until the end of September,” Mayor Maria Gina Lizares said in issuing Executive Order 2020-035 on Monday.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases passed Resolution 69-A, placing Bacolod under MECQ from Sept. 8 to 30 to curb the spike in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In EO 2020-034, Lizares extended the moratorium until September 15 after the initial ban was imposed on August 14 to 31 as stated in EO 2020-033.
“All tourists from outside Sipalay shall not be allowed to enter the city,” the mayor said in the previous order.
The southern Negros city, a favorite getaway for its white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking dive sites, allowed the resumption of tourist activities in select areas when Negros Occidental shifted to modified general community quarantine starting June 1, but eventually prohibited tourists by the middle of August amid the increasing local transmission of Covid-19 cases in the province.
EO 2020-034 stated that all pre-booked accommodations of tourists covered by the duration of the moratorium will be rebooked or refunded by the resorts and accommodation establishments depending on the arrangement between the establishments and the clients.
During the moratorium, also prohibited are visits to relatives and friends, church-related activities, school-related transactions, and house-to-house retail selling.
The directive also states that all travelers coming from or going to any declared high-risk areas shall not be allowed to enter or reenter Sipalay. Returning residents from high-risk areas are required to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result.
Allowed to travel to Sipalay are persons with medical-related transactions, business transactions with open establishments, government-related transactions, delivery of goods and items, non-residents from non-high risk areas who are employed in Sipalay, and residents who are employed in non-high risk areas.*PNA