DUE to an increase of Covid-19 cases, Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) will lower the operational and sitting capacity of resorts and other establishments to 60 percent from 75 percent.
Mayor Al David Uy issued Executive Order (EO) 284, which amended EO 277. EO 284 was signed on Tuesday, April 13.
The mayor observed that since they reopened the tourism industry, Covid-19 infection in the city had increased and this may be attributed to the influx of tourists and the free movement of the people conducting various eco-tourism activities.
He said in the EO, "inspection reports revealed that, there were resorts or tourism establishments that did not comply with the required minimum health protocols and scanning of the QR Code of their guests for purposes of contact tracing and capacity monitoring."
Meanwhile, Uy said in a radio interview the EO took effect on April 15 and will be implemented until April 30.
"This is one way, the best way, for [us] na mabalanse ang (to balance) health and economy," Uy said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
More than 45 days since tourism resumed in the island, Uy admitted cases surged which made him decide to adjust the resort capacity.
He also said the recent Holy Week may have contributed to the surge of cases in the island following the influx of tourists.
The mayor said he will bring back the 75 percent operational and sitting capacity of resorts once active cases will continue to reduce.
In addition to the amendment, the local government also included the residents of Samal to pre-book with the resort facilities prior to their entry.
The Regional Inter-agency Task Force Against Covid-19 (RIATF), pursuant to Resolution 02. Series of 2021, granted and approved the request of the City to reopen and allow the limited tourism activities in the island city.
While on March 01, 2021, pursuant to Executive Order 277, Series of 2021, the City Government allowed the resumption of limited tourism activities and business operations of the resort within the City on the condition that the minimum public health standard protocol against Covid-19 shall strictly be observed.
As of April 18, Samal has 293 total Covid-19 cases wherein 79 are active cases, 201 have recovered, and 13 have died.
Currently, Igacos, under the territorial jurisdiction of Davao del Norte, is under modified general community quarantine, which permits tourism-related establishments to operate.