THE Government of Bacolod has lifted the liquor ban and shortened its curfew hours after the Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) placed the city under Alert Level 1 in terms of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) risk transmission effective March 1 to 15, 2022.

In Executive Order (EO) 9, declaring Alert Level 1 in Bacolod City during the 15-day period, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the daily curfew hours will now be observed from 12 midnight to 4 a.m.

It is one hour shorter from the previous curfew hours of 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The modified policy on liquor ban, on the other hand, is lifted while the city stays under Alert Level 1, he added.

Leonardia, however, reminded Bacolodnons not to celebrate prematurely despite the de-escalation of the city to a lower alert level.

"Being in Alert Level 1 is something that is reassuring and it showed that our policies and practices have been hitting the targets," he said on the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony of the new set of officers of the Negros Press Club Tuesday, March 1.

"At the same time, let us always remind ourselves that Covid is still here," the mayor said, adding that "we still need to use face masks because it is still a necessity under the circumstance."

He stressed that, "let's not prematurely disregard all these protocols because even in Alert Level 1, there are IATF guidelines that we need to follow."

The EO was signed by the mayor on February 28 and released to the media Tuesday, March 1.

It stated that under Alert Level 1, all business establishments, persons or activities may be allowed to operate at full-on-site or venue/seating capacity provided it is consistent with minimum public health standards (MPHS).

These include social distancing, proper wearing of face masks, body temperature check and the use of the Bactrac identification card system at establishments patronized by the general public, and other similar safety protocols in the management and control of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will cover venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions, social events, tourist attractions such as amusements, libraries, parks, amusement parks, cinemas and movie houses, recreational venues, in-person religious gatherings, personal care services and fitness studios, non-contact exercise and sports, limited face-to-face (F2F) classes for basic education.

However, the following activities shall be on a limited 80 percent outdoor seating/venue capacity and limited 60 percent indoor seating/venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals and those below 18 years old, even if unvaccinated, under the City Government's prerogative to exercise the MPHS and to avoid the abrupt shift to a completely relaxed health protocols.

Offices of the Bacolod City Government will revert to full 100 percent on-site capacity. The work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements for the local government unit are deemed suspended until further advice, it added.

Requiring unvaccinated government employees to present negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or rapid antigen test (RAT) results (at the personal expense of the employee) for on-site reporting will be observed.

For intrazonal and interzonal movement, it shall be allowed without regard to age and comorbidities provided, however, the city government shall continue to strictly impose, for purposes of health and safety protocols, the travel guidelines under Section 3 of Executive Order No. 8, Series of 2022, dated February 15, 2022, covering all travelers inbound for Bacolod City coming from all areas of the Philippines regardless of alert level or status.

These travelers will be required to present travel documents before boarding for the last leg of their trip prior to arriving in any seaport/area of jurisdiction of Bacolod City or the Bacolod-Silay Airport, and upon arrival at said ports of entry.

The documents include Bactrac ID, and vaccination card for those who had been fully vaccinated or have received a booster dose.

However, for those who are still unvaccinated or have received only the first dose of a two-dose vaccine series, they shall present a negative result under RAT certified by the DOH-accredited laboratory that administered the test within 48 hours before boarding at their port of departure immediately before arriving in any port of entry in Bacolod City.

They should also pass a symptom screening at the ports of entry upon arrival in Bacolod City and must comply with existing minimum public health standards.

The local government may, however, randomly subject those travelers required to present the negative RAT result to another RAT upon their arrival at Bacolod port/s and/or airport (free-of-charge) to ensure the authenticity of the previously-undertaken RAT and for the purpose of assuring the safety of the general public.

The EO also underscored that government officials and public sector personnel on official business shall be allowed unimpeded travel into Bacolod City from any area regardless of the Alert Level status.

Provided, they comply with the afore-cited protocols and to the vaccination mandate for personnel in the government service under IATF Resolution 148-B, Series of 2021, dated November 11, 2021, it stated.

Leonardia, moreover, echoed his call for residents to still observe minimum health protocols so that the city can sustain its lowest community quarantine classification.

"Vaccination is our way to salvation," the mayor said, stressing the importance of getting jabbed and being protected against Covid-19.

As of February 28, the highly urbanized city only has 210 active cases.