Marinduque imposes strict entry rules for travelers to curb Covid variant spread
LUCENA CITY — The provincial government of Marinduque is enforcing stricter regulations on the entry of travelers to the island amid the new threat from the more infectious United Kingdom (UK) variant of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
On Friday, Jan. 29, Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr. issued Executive Order No. 01-2021 that has extended his previous order but with added measures to combat the threat of COVID-19 cases in the island province located in the Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan (Mimaropa) region.
The copies of the four-page order are posted on Velasco’s Facebook page.
“There has been a noticeable increase in Covid-19 infections in the province and the incidence of local transmission within the communities which has resulted in the recording of 51 cases in just 10 days from Jan. 17 to 27 bringing the total cases of infection to 254 to date,” Velasco said in his order.
The governor also noted the reports that the country has now 16 cases of new Covid-19 variant, believed to be more infectious and fatal, that originated from the UK.
Velasco explained that the continued implementation of proactive measures “is necessary to ensure the utmost protection of the health of Marinduqueño people.”
Marinduque remains under the modified general community quarantine until Feb. 28.
Velasco ordered the extended travel restrictions for all non-APOR (Authorized Persons Outside Residence) from Feb. 1 to 15.
He said the entry of non-APOR in the province during the said period “shall not be allowed except for residents who intend to stay permanently in the province and whose intended stay shall be for at least two months from date of admission.”
He also ordered the strict implementation of the guidelines and travel requirements for APOR travelers.
He emphasized that the admission of APORs shall be from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. only but delivery vehicles, vans and trucks may enter the province at any time provided they have submitted all the requirements necessary for entry.
He said APORs who are drivers and helpers of delivery trucks and vehicles who are residing outside Marinduque “shall undergo RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test or rapid antigen test at the Balanacan port.”
The APORs shall also present their certificate of testing from other Department of Health accredited hospital, clinic or facility outside Marinduque, “provided that such certificate shall only be valid for two weeks or fourteen days from the date of testing”.
Drivers and helpers of delivery trucks who are residents of Marinduque shall also be subject to RT-PCR test or rapid antigen test upon arrival at Balanacan port from another local government unit “unless they have been tested before entry and can produce the certificate pf testing”.
“They shall undergo a 14-day quarantine in an isolation area unless they are instructed to drive their vehicle to transport goods in which case, they will be allowed to temporarily leave the isolation area,” the order added.
The order stated that APORs who are non-residents and are government officials and employees, doctors, nurses and other health care workers shall be allowed to enter the province “provided they shall undergo mandatory RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen test upon entry or they can produce a certificate of testing”.
“They shall indicate in their travel clearance their daily activities in the province with the time they will perform the same. After their official functions, they shall remain at all times in the hotel or lodging facility where they are staying,” the order stressed.
The order listed 34 countries believed to already have UK variant cases and warned that all persons who traveled to any of the countries are also prohibited from entering Marinduque from Feb. 1 to 15.
Velasco’s order clarified that returning or repatriated overseas Filipino workers and other overseas Filipinos returning to their places of residence, and other persons transported through the efforts of the national government upon observance of the necessary quarantine will also be considered as APORs and thus, will also be subject to the same strict rules and regulations.
The order continues to impose ban on mass gatherings such as but not limited to seminars, trainings, parties, wakes, weddings, sports events and the likes from Feb. 1 to 15.
But religious activities, rites and rituals whose capacity is restricted to 50 percent may still continue, but subject to strict health protocols which include the wearing of face masks and face shields.
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