Over the past week, there was much back and forth on the Inter-Agency Task Force's new policy on using vaccination cards in lieu of COVID-19 test results as a requirement in leisure travel. Baguio City announced their policy that fully vaccinated travelers can enter the City of Pines just by presenting their cards, but Surigao del Norte retracted their announcement and now maintains that all arrivals should present an RT-PCR test.
On the other hand, Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro—a popular beach destination because of its proximity to Metro Manila—is exempting fully vaccinated individuals from undergoing the mandatory RT-PCR testing. This was declared through an executive order on July 10, and was confirmed by Mayor Rocky Ilagan in an interview with Teleradyo on July 12.
"'Yong amin strict border control ay mahigit isang taon at kalahati nang pinapatupad. Until now meron po, RT-PCR pag di pa vaccinated. 'Yong fully vaccinated pinapapasok na namin," he told Teleradyo.
Here are the updated Puerto Galera travel requirements (as of July 12):
- Negative RT-PCR test result issued within 24 hours of travel, except for individuls who are "holders of domestic vaccination cards indicating full vaccination"
- S-pass.ph registration
- Health and exposure screening upon arrival at the Puerto Galera borders
These are the strict definitions of being fully vaccinated:
- Received the second dose in a two-dose series at least two weeks ago
- Received one dose of a single-dose vaccine at least two weeks ago
- The vaccines administered are included in either the Philippine Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorization list or Compassionate Special Permit; World Health Organization's Emergency Use Listing.
As of July 11, Puerto Galera has 18 active confirmed cases of COVID-19. They have so far inoculated 2,600 residents with their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 600 have been fully vaccinated, according to Ilagan.
This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.