Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año has temporarily banned locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from going in and out of Cebu City that is under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
However, Negrense LSIs in the rest of Cebu province that is not under ECQ can return to Negros Occidental, Central Visayas Regional Director Leocadio Trovela of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, told the DAILY STAR last night.
The ban is only for those within Cebu City because it is under ECQ, he said.
Mayor Raul Gerona of Tabuelan, Cebu, Sunday issued Executive Order 8 lifting restrictions on the travel of passengers bound for Negros and Iloilo islands.
“For humanitarian considerations and as a lawful consequence for the downgrading of the quarantine status of Cebu province from ECQ to General Community Quarantine, the travel ban for passengers bound for Negros and Iloilo islands by way of the municipal port of Tabuelan is hereby lifted,” he said.
Jennylind Cordero, Negros Occidental tourism officer, said as of yesterday about 281 Negrense LSIs stranded in Cebu had signed up for return to Negros.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz yesterday said the provincial government is continuing to conduct Covid-19 tests on all returning LSIs and overseas Filipino workers to Negros Occidental.
Diaz said on Saturday they began testing all passengers arriving in Bacolod City on fastcraft vessels from Iloilo.
Frank Carbon, Weesam Express adviser, said Weesam and Supercat vessels, that resumed plying the Iloilo-Bacolod-Iloilo routes twice daily had only about 50 passengers on each trip.
He, however, said they expect more passengers on Monday and for the volume to pick up.
Diaz said they will continue testing incoming passengers from Iloilo this June until they have sufficient scientific basis to consider easing the rule.
They are testing all returning Negros Occidental and Bacolod residents, he said.
They have to make sure the passengers from Iloilo are safe to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Negros Occidental, he said.
A PAL sweeper flight brought home 85 Negrense LSIs 12:30 p.m. yesterday, and a Cebu Pacific plane brought 114 more on Saturday from Manila.
Two 2Go vessels also brought home 329 LSIs on Saturday.*
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