DESPITE the elevation of Bacolod City to a higher alert level status in terms of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) transmission, no travel restrictions will be imposed between the highly-urbanized city and Negros Occidental.

This was confirmed Thursday, January 13, by Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II, saying it is no longer necessary and will only entail additional burden.

Starting Friday, January 14, until January 31, Bacolod City will be under Alert Level 3 from Alert Level 2, while Negros Occidental will remain under the same status.

This means that Bacolodnons traveling out of town will not be required to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result, which is mandatory for those who came from areas under Alert Level 3, said Diaz.

He said bus trips between Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental will also not be hampered neither affected by the elevation of Bacolod City's alert status.

The only requirements for travelers from Negros Oriental are Covid-19 vaccination card or certificate, valid ID, and Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-Pass) registration, he added.

The provincial administrator affirmed, however, that since Cebu City had also been placed under Alert Level 3, travelers originating there and entering Negros Occidental would be required to present a negative RT-PCR test regardless if they are vaccinated against Covid-19 or not.

This is in accordance with the Executive Order (EO) issued by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson last week, the official said, adding that "our concept is a bubble, our seaports and airports should be monitored."