Stranded folk from Western Visayas may now go home

Philippine Daily Inquirer September 17,2020 - 06:56 AM

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — Stranded residents from Western Visayas can now go home after the national task force overseeing the government response to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) partially lifted the suspension of travel to the region.

The order from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases covered inbound travel to Iloilo City and the provinces of Guimaras, Iloilo, Antique and Negros Occidental.

The transport of the stranded residents was earlier suspended on the request of local governments amid the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.

Read: Palace on COVID-19 crisis: The worst is over

But those bound for the provinces of Aklan and Capiz, and the cities of Roxas and Bacolod were still prohibited, the Western Visayas Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) and the Regional Task Force COVID-19 clarified in an advisory issued on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

Bacolod is under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until Sept. 30.

Aklan earlier issued a directive suspending the acceptance of returning residents and those from other provinces passing through its ports.

But the RIATF instructed officials of Aklan, Capiz and Bacolod City to accept in their ports those bound for other areas provided their arrivals were coordinated by the receiving local governments.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque reminded officials that requests for the imposition, extension and lifting of moratorium of local governments on the return of stranded residents would have to be decided by the RIATF.

—With reports from Nestor P. Burgos Jr and Leila B. Salaverria

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