Guimaras maintains strict border control

Police maintain border checkpoint at Buenavista, Guimaras. (Guimaras PNP photo)

The province of Guimaras is now under a more “relaxed” General Community Quarantine (GCQ) effective 12:01 a.m. of May 1, 2020 pursuant to the directive of the National Interg-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).

Governor Samuel T. Gumarin also signed Executive Order No. 44 adopting the modified Level 2 Response of the Guimaras COVID-19 Response Initiative.

Guimaras is one of the provinces classified by the national government as “low risk” to the spread of COVID-19, thus the slide to GCQ.

But Gumarin stressed that stricter border control will remain as the provincial government is steadfast in its drive to protect the island from the disease.

“Manaog kita sa General Community Quarantine. Pero sa gihapon hugton naton pagbantay sa aton mga borders. Limitahan naton ang movement sang mga tawo. Sa sini masigurado naton nga indi basta-basta makasulod ang virus sa aton probinsiya,” Gumarin said.

The modified version of the Level 2 Response will be implemented while the province is under GCQ.

Only the Ro-Ro wharf, Jordan and Buenavista wharves will be used as ports of entry to Guimaras.

Meanwhile, the Puyo Wharf in the Municipality of Nueva Valencia will be open to cargoes and delivery of products from outside the province.

Only returning residents who failed to return since March 15 and do not exhibit symptoms referable to COVID-19 will be allowed entry but they must comply with the mandatory quarantine regulations.

Non-residents of the island shall only be allowed entry if the purpose of travel is to transport basic commodities and necessities; emergency cases; or some meritorious cases deemed reasonable by the provincial government provided that they are clear of COVID-19 infection.

An inbound pass shall be issued to non-residents who will enter Guimaras.

Outbound travels of Guimarasnons are still limited to medical referrals, emergency cases, and cases that are determined by the Provincial Government to be meritorious. A valid ID and Outbound/Quarantine Pass are required from travelers.

For non-residents who will leave the island, only those with an Outbound Pass shall be permitted.

Government health workers and law enforcers in Guimaras, persons rendering essential or professional services and other government employees authorized by the Provincial Government will also be granted entry.

Trips of motorbancas plying the Guimaras-Iloilo route (vice versa) is from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Essential business establishments such as market, groceries/convenience stores, sari-sari stores, pharmacies, gasoline stations, water refilling stations, banks, money centers, clinics, health facility, construction supplies, motorcycle/auto supplies, agricultural/poultry supplies, food establishments, public utilities, barber shops, salons can operate from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Hospitals and funeral parlors can operate for 24 hours.

The no dine-in policy shall be observed in food establishments in the province.

Public transportations shall be allowed to operate from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. only and strict physical distancing will be observed.

Tricycles can operate from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. but only one passenger will be allowed.

Motorcycles shall be prohibited for public conveyances but can be used for private purposes and only one backrider will be allowed.

Gumarin emphasized that stay at home policy is still highly encouraged while the province is under GCQ.