BACOLOD

Negros Occidental may require negative RT-PCR tests to travelers

NEGROS Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the province may require s negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result taken within 72 hours before travel for arriving locally stranded individuals (LSIs) if the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) pushes its Resolution 101.

Lacson said if the IATF insists that there will be no more quarantine and no more RT-PCR test to be required upon arrival of LSIs, then he will include in an Executive Order requiring travelers to present a 72-hour negative RT-PCR result prior to travel from their place of origin.

The implementation of Resolution 101 has been held in Western Visayas after the provinces decided a status quo and that upon arrival, RT-PCR test and quarantine are still required until negative results come out.

Lacson confirmed the increase of coronavirus-positive LSIs from 58 to over a hundred.

"I cannot understand Resolution 101. I hope they will allow LGUs to decide what protocol to follow," Lacson said.

The governor admitted that Resolution 101 will make the province save a lot of money because the RT-PCR testing will be done from the place of origin of travelers.

"I hope they will allow us to continue our protocol," Lacson said.

Resolution 101 of the IATF stated that RT-PCR testing shall not be mandatory for traveler except if the LGU of destination (province with respect to their municipalities and component cities, and highly urbanized cities [HUCs] and independent component cities [ICCs]) will require testing as a requirement prior to travel, and such shall be limited to RT-PCR; and no traveler shall be required to undergo quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms upon arrival at the LGU of destination.

The Resolution also stated that Travel Authority issued by Joint Task Force Covid Shield and health certificates shall no longer be required; authorized persons outside residence from national government agencies and their attached agencies must provide their identification card, travel order, and travel itinerary, and must pass symptom-screening at ports of entry and exit pursuant to IATF Resolution No. 98-A issued on February 4, 2021. (TDE)


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