ISLAND Garden City of Samal (Igacos) Mayor Al David Uy said they are eyeing to allow fully vaccinated tourists to enter their island once the Covid-19 situation improves.
"Ang ginatan-aw nako sa Samal for next year, kung medyo mag-improve, is we will allow vaccinated individuals na makasulod sa mga, of course, naa gihapon tay QR (quick response) system. Karon man gud, ang gina-cater nato is within Davao Region only na mga turista... Because of the GCQ (general community quarantine) with heightened restrictions. Hopefully, kon mag-improve, God-willing, we might allow tourists outside of Davao Region nga vaccinated," Uy said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio on Thursday, September 23, 2021.
The mayor said almost 80 percent of resorts are currently operating under a maximum of 50-percent capacity.
He added that the majority of resorts have achieved herd immunity within their establishments.
"At least ma-achieve nila ang herd immunity sa ilang resort," Uy said.
Early in June 2021, the City Government temporarily suspended the operation of all resorts, including beach or inland, due to the surge in cases on the island.
Despite the gradual resumption, Uy said the island's tourism industry has not yet recovered from its losses due to the changes in the quarantine restrictions.
With the continuous vaccination rollout, he said they are hoping that the situation would improve.
"Di pa nato masulti tungod ang virus pausab-usab. Hopefully, inthe next two years, mawala na ni," the mayor said.
Uy also said some resorts in Igacos may now be requiring vaccination cards for tourists and customers who are fully vaccinated.
For now, only tourists within the region are allowed to visit the island.
Uy said they are required to secure the island's QR code system and advance booking at the destined resort.
Upon entry, he said they will undergo symptoms screening and antigen testing. Once they tested positive, they will be isolated for a confirmatory test. If they will test positive again on the swab testing, they will be quarantined for 14 days.
Based on the data from the City Health Office as of September 9, Igacos had a total of 1,548 confirmed cases, wherein 179 were active cases, 1,301 had recovered, and 68 died.
Uy said due to the continuing surge in cases on the island, there are already decking of patients in their Covid-19 referral hospitals.
The mayor said they are currently intensifying their vaccination rollout.
As of Thursday, he said they already vaccinated almost 20 percent of the city's total population.
To entice more establishments to be vaccinated, Uy said he is pushing to incentivize resorts and other business establishments during the renewal of business permits whose employees are fully vaccinated.