DOT chief: Only Baguio allows entry of vaccinated people sans COVID test
MANILA, Philippines — Only Baguio City has so far allowed the entry of fully vaccinated individuals without having to present negative COVID-19 test results as other tourist destinations are still waiting for more vaccines in their area, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Wednesday.
Puyat said Baguio City has adopted this system since they have already vaccinated 40 percent of their population.
“So far sa mga tourist destinations, ang pumayag pa lang ay ‘yung Baguio City, kasi 40 percent na ang bakunado kaya confident si Mayor [Benjamin] Magalong na ang fully vaccinated ay pwedeng dumating kasi halos kalahati ay bakunado na rin sa Baguio,” she told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(So far among the tourist destinations, only Baguio City has allowed this because 40 percent of its population has been vaccinated. That’s why Mayor Magalong is confident that those fully vaccinated can enter their city.)
On Sunday, Malacañang announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has eased the rules on the interzonal travel for fully-vaccinated individuals.
Under IATF Resolution 124-B, interzonal travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are now only required to present proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination instead of negative test results.
Interzonal travel refers to the movement between provinces, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities under different community quarantine classifications.
Puyat, however, noted that LGUs can still decide if they will allow the entry of fully vaccinated people without requiring them to present negative test results for coronavirus.
“Ang sa IATF resolution, ‘yun lang ay alternative sa RT-PCR. It’s really still up to the LGU kung magdedecide sila kung instead of fully vaccinated, RT-PCR na lang ang gagamitin,” she explained.
(The IATF resolution stated that that system is only an alternative to the requirement of presenting RT-PCR test results. It’s really still up to the LGU if they will decide to require RT-PCR test results instead of vaccination cards for those fully vaccinated.)
She said that many LGU officials she spoke with have expressed willingness to adopt the IATF resolution, but they noted the still low vaccination coverage in their areas.
“May ibang LGUs na dahil konti pa lang ang bakunado sa kanilang probinsya, gusto nila munang RT-PCR. Pag mas marami nang bakunado sa kanilang lugar, doon na daw sila magsishift sa fully vaccinated,” said Puyat.
(Other LGUs still want to require RT-PCR tests because the number of vaccinated individuals in their areas is still low. Once more people get vaccinated, they will shift to allowing fully vaccinated individuals to enter.)
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