No swabbing for BCD arrival & departure at the city port

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Granting that the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo will have the same quarantine level by November 1, Bacolod mayor Evelio Leonardia said that there is no need for departing and arriving individuals from and to Iloilo City to undergo a swab test at the city port.

The mayor issued this clarification as fastcraft operators between Bacolod and Iloilo prepare for the resumption of sea travel. The policy he stressed is only applicable to Bacolod residents.

However, he clarified that if the national Inter Agency Task Force reconsiders the city’s appeal to de-escalate Bacolod’s current quarantine status, the protocol could change.

In his latest announcement on television, Iloilo and Bacolod were put under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte until the end of November.

Leonardia, however, sent an appeal to de-escalate Bacolod to modified GCQ, citing the tremendous drop in COVID-19 active cases in the city. Bacolod successfully reduced the cases to fewer than 2 dozen per week from a 3-digit average in September, citing unified protocols and policies introduced by the local Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

For returnees whose final destination is outside of Bacolod, the mayor said that there will be a separate set of protocols that will be followed. And, since this is beyond his executive jurisdiction, he said that the city will not interfere with whatever health policies being implemented in the provincial level.

The province of Negros Occidental had previously stated that passengers returning to the province will have to undergo a mandatory swab test once they arrive at the port, except those whose final destination is just within Bacolod.