Siquijor opens borders to fully vaccinated tourists

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 06,2022 - 03:09 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Good news for tourists looking to visit Siquijor soon.

The Provincial Government of Siquijor on March 1 announced that they have reopened its borders to fully vaccinated tourists, two years after they imposed lockdowns and border controls due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means that travelers who have completed their COVID-19 inoculation schedule will no longer have to submit negative RT-PCR test results, and no need to undergo quarantine upon entering the island.

Gov. Zaldy Villa on March 1 issued Executive Order No. 2022 – 005 that served as their guidelines under Siquijor’s Alert Level 1 phase. 

Siquijor is the only province in Central Visayas downgraded to the most relaxed form of quarantine classification by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID or IATF). 

Based on the 13-page EO, copies of which were published on the provincial government’s official social media handles, tourists will only have to present proof of their vaccination statuses such as vaccination cards, valid identification cards (IDs), and booking confirmation from any accredited establishments. 

 

For travelers staying with Siquijor-based relatives or acquaintances, they will show instead a confirmation note from the hosts, the EO said.

The note must indicate the address of the place where the tourists will be staying. 

Guests are also advised to register on the government-ran Safe, Swift and Smart travel pass (S-Pass) prior to their arrival. 

“However, tourists who cannot register to S-PASS shall be allowed entry provided they can present to the Coast Guard on duty at the port of origin the above-stated requirements,” the EO added. 

Upon arriving at the island, all inbound tourists will be subjected to a health screening or ‘triage’, and to check if they have complied with the requirements the local government of Siquijor has set. 

“Passengers are to report to the nearest health facility in case of COVID-19 related symptoms develop,” they said. 

Unvaccinated 

For unvaccinated inbound travelers, however, they will still have to undergo Siquijor’s stringent protocols.

These included presenting negative RT-PCR test results taken within 72 hours, a valid ID (barangay certificate for returning Siquijor residents), and an approved S-Pass.

“They shall likewise undergo health screening or triage upon arrival and must undergo facility (municipality/provincial) quarantine and will be swabbed for RT-PCR on the 5th day and should wait for the result for final disposition,” the local government said.

“If negative (for COVID-19), maybe reintegrated to the community. However, if tested positive (for COVID-19), must complete 10-21 days Quarantine depending on the severity of symptoms,” they added. 

Unvaccinated children, whose ages are 11 years old and below are exempted from this policy as long as they are accompanied by fully vaccinated adults.

Siquijor shifted to Alert Level 1 since March 1, the only province to do so in Central Visayas. The rest remained under Alert Level 2.

The island province’s overall COVID-19 immunization coverage rate, according to the recent data they provided, is at roughly 85 percent.

This meant that out of 92,695 individuals age 12 years and above qualified to receive free COVID-19 vaccines, 78,994 have already been jabbed.

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