THE Provincial Government of Guimaras has lifted local border restrictions as the province has been downgraded by the Department of Health to "moderate risk" in terms of Covid-19 cases.

Governor Samuel T. Gumarin issued Executive Order No. 40, series of 2021, amending the policies and protocols implemented on the island. Guimaras saw a decline in growth and daily attack rates of Covid-19 cases recorded in the province in the past two weeks.

The Department of Health (DOH) likewise downgraded the Province of Guimaras to Alert Level 3 from Alert Level 4 in the previous weeks.

Effective October 1, 2021, intrazonal movement for residents of the province are allowed and travel passes are no longer required except for inhabitants of areas placed under lockdown who shall comply with the guidelines.

Intrazonal movement of fully vaccinated senior citizens are allowed presentation of a Covid-19 domestic vaccination card or certificate of quarantine completion showing the holder’s vaccination status.

Meanwhile, business establishments on the island are allowed to open from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m., except those that are engage in leisure activities such as recreation centers, videoke/karaoke bars, billiard center, tourism destinations and computer shops.

Pharmacies may operate from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., while hospitals and funeral parlors are exempted from business hour limitations.

Food establishments and resorts in the island are allowed to cater to dine-in services up to 25 percent of the venue's capacity.

Hotels or accommodation establishments in the island with valid Department of Tourism (DOT) accreditation are allowed to accommodate guests and clients up to 25 percent of the total establishment capacity, but ancillary amenities such as swimming pools, beaches and drinking bars shall remain closed.

Operations of sea vessels plying the Guimaras-Iloilo route, vice versa, shall be from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. only.

Public utility vehicles may operate from 5 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Mass and social gatherings are still prohibited, but religious gatherings are allowed up to 25 percent of the venue capacity provided. Minimum public health standards shall be observed.

Meetings and/or gatherings are likewise prohibited, except for those initiated by the government in connection with Covid-19 responses and distribution of government grants and subsidies to the residents, but health protocols shall be strictly observed.

Only highly essential travels going into and outside Guimaras shall be allowed. Leisure travels are still suspended.

Returning or visiting persons coming from outside Western Visayas who are not fully vaccinated shall present a negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test before they can be allowed entry into the island. The test must be conducted three days before the travel date. Those who are completely vaccinated shall be allowed entry into the island upon presentation of their vaccination card.

The Provincial Government further reminded the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to enforce the provisions of Provincial Ordinance No. 2020-04 otherwise known as the "New Normal" ordinance, which prescribed the observance of minimum public health standards.

The Province of Guimaras had 2,939 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of October 1, 2021, but 85.16 percent (2,503) have already recovered, 126 have died while 290 Covid-19 cases in the island remained active.