Negros Occidental requires RT-PCR tests for fully vaccinated travelers

Marchel Espina
Negros Occidental requires RT-PCR tests for fully vaccinated travelers

RELIEF. Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose 'Bong' Lacson supervises delivery of truckloads of rice for evacuees in the southern city of Kabankalan.

Negros Occidental information office

From January 7 to 9, incoming travelers need to take rapid antigen tests at the airport and seaports of Negros Occidental

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Even fully vaccinated travelers will need to submit negative RT-PCR results to enter Negros Occidental.

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose “Bong” Lacson signed EO 21-61-A on Thursday, January 6. 

The EO will take effect on January 9.

According to the EO, from January 7 to January 9, the province will conduct rapid antigen tests for incoming passengers and seaports.

Regardless of vaccination status, travelers need to submit S-Pass applications in advance, with proof of a negative RT-PCR result valid for 72 hours from the date of swab sample extraction.

Negros Occidental is still struggling with relief programs in southern towns and cities hit by Typhoon Odette in December 2021.

Aid programs will now contend with fewer flights coming into the province. The governor decreased the number of flights from areas under Alert Level 3 status.

Each airline will be allowed only one Manila-Bacolod-Manila flight daily, from the current two or three flights daily.

Cebu-Bacolod-Cebu flights will be limited to one flight per airline per week.

For sea travel from and to Alert Level 3 areas, vessels’ passenger capacity is capped at 50%.

Provincial health officials have been worried about potential outbreaks in typhoon-hit areas.

Negros Occidental has restarted its COVID-19 vaccination drive, but health experts told Rappler they cannot push local governments still struggling with lack of power and water, and trying to help local populations rebuild destroyed and damaged homes. –