The City of Sipalay, the top tourist destination in Negros Occidental, has allowed accommodation establishments such as hotels, resorts, and inns to operate at 100 percent capacity.
The development is included in Executive Order 2021-005 that took effect on Wednesday and issued by Mayor Maria Gina Lizares extending the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the city until March 31.
“Strict implementation of minimum health protocols and guidelines shall be observed such as social distancing, wearing of face mask, frequent handwashing and coughing etiquette,” the directive stated.
For now, only tourists from Bacolod City and Negros Occidental are accepted for leisure travel in the southern Negros city known for its beautiful beaches and breathtaking dive sites.
Tourists are required to register online and fill out the travel form.
To be allowed entry, non-resident tourists must travel in private vehicles, as travel via public transport is not allowed, and must enter through the Cartagena and Nabulao borders only.
Also, day visits, trips, or excursions of non-residents are allowed only at the Poblacion beach and island hopping is allowed only for checked-in non-resident tourists.
At the Campomanes beach, only a maximum of 80 persons are allowed at any given time, and it is excluded from island hopping activities.
EO 2021-005 also prohibits non-residents to hold mass gatherings and events, including but not limited to weddings, baptisms, birthdays, and parties.
Last Nov. 6, Sipalay lifted its moratorium on tourism-related travel and reopened its doors to tourists under strict health and safety protocols.
The easing of travel restrictions was stated in EO 2020-048, two and half months after the ban on tourism-related and non-essential travels was imposed on Aug. 14, 2020 amid the spike in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Negros Occidental. (Nanette Guadalquiver, PNA)