Siquijor allows tourists’ entry sans vax card, swab test result

THE Provincial Government of Siquijor has dropped the presentation of vaccination cards and negative RT-PCR test results at ports of entry for travelers going to the island province.

Gov. Jake Vincent Villa signed on Sept. 28, 2022 Executive Order (EO) 2022-JVSV-011, which also made the wearing of face masks optional in “open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas.”

Villa stressed in his EO, though, that all establishments, businesses and private entities have the discretion to require the continued wearing of masks within their respective premises.

He said masks must still be worn in all hospitals, clinics, and other medical and diagnostic facilities.

Persons who are immunocompromised, sick or having flu-like symptoms are also mandated to wear masks outside of their residence, “in the interest of public safety and public health.”

“Such persons are strongly advised to stay indoors and seek proper medical consultations as regards their respective conditions,” the EO stated.

Villa also ordered all component local government units of the Province of Siquijor, as well as all persons, establishments and entities, including law enforcement personnel “to promote self-regulation and control in order to promote health, and prevent future surges of infection.”

The order is effective immediately, Villa said.

The governor, in his EO, noted the shift toward a more lenient stance in the use of masks in issuing the directive.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. issued on Sept. 12, 2022 EO 3 allowing the voluntary wearing of masks in outdoor settings across the country amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Under Marcos’ EO, wearing of masks is no longer mandatory in “open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation.” But the elderly, immunocompromised individuals and those who have not yet completed their Covid-19 vaccination are “highly encouraged” to continue wearing their masks in all public areas to ensure their protection.

Fully vaccinated individuals are those who have completed their primary series of Covid-19 vaccines.

With this, Villa said it is also vital that the Province of Siquijor renew and revitalize its policies “to promote the welfare of both its residents and of tourists alike, and kickstart its road to economic recovery over the years to come.”