Guimaras beefs up COVID-19 protocols amid Omicron threat

DG file photo

The provincial government of Guimaras strengthened policies and protocols on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) amid threats from the more transmissible Omicron variant.

Governor Samuel T. Gumarin signed Executive Order No. 03, series of 2022 on Jan 7, 2022 adopting measures to preempt the possible surge of COVID-19 cases in the province.

Gumarin cited the latest surge of cases in foreign countries as well as in the Philippines that forced the national government to place some parts of the country under Alert Level 3.

Effective Jan 10, individuals who are not fully vaccinated are not allowed to enter Guimaras except in cases of medical emergencies or referrals.

Only fully vaccinated residents of Guimaras shall be allowed to leave the island.

Individuals who are not vaccinated yet may be allowed entry into the province if they present a negative RT-PCR result. The test must be taken not later than three days before the date of travel.

This travel protocol shall apply to returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), locally stranded individuals (LSIs).

Leisure travels may be allowed only for those who have prior or existing bookings with hospitality establishments in the province.

Only fully vaccinated individuals are allowed in hotels or accommodation establishments in Guimaras but limited only to 50% of the venue’s capacity.

All business establishments in the province are allowed to open except entertainment and amusement venues.

Food establishments and resorts can cater dine-in services for fully vaccinated individuals only provided it would not exceed 50% of the venue’s capacity.

Business establishments may operate from 4 a.m. until 8 p.m. except for pharmacies that may open until 10 p.m.

Cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops and other gambling establishments except those that are authorized by the Inter-Agency Task Force or the Office of the President, are not allowed to operate.

Sea vessels may operate from 4 a.m. until 7 p.m. while public utility vehicles are allowed to operate from 4 a.m. until 8 p.m. with 50% of the maximum passenger capacity.

Mass and social gatherings that will compromise the minimum health standard are prohibited.

Places or areas as venue for gatherings, including those that are devoted for worship, must comply with the 50% capacity limitation.

Meanwhile, only fully vaccinated local ambulant vendors and peddlers including “bulante” are allowed. Non-residents are prohibited from conducting “bulante” activities in the province.

Contact sports such as basketball, among others are suspended.

The province of Guimaras has six active cases of COVID-19 as of Jan 7, 2022.