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COVID-free Batanes still closed to tourists, says governor

Aleta Nieva Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 01 2021 09:58 AM | Updated as of May 01 2021 10:10 AM

MANILA— Tourists may have to wait a little more before they could visit Batanes, one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

This, as the province remains closed to tourists despite having no more active COVID-19 cases, as the virus surge continues in other parts of the country, said Batanes Gov. Marilou Cayco.

Batanes' most recent COVID-19 patient recovered in April.

“Sa ngayon po, dahil sa patuloy na paglobo ng COVID cases sa ating bansa mananatlii pa ring sarado ang Batanes sa mga turista at non-essential travel. Ito rin kasi ang pangkalahatang sentimyento ng mga Ivatan,” said Cayco.


(For now, due to the rising number of COVID cases in the country, Batanes will remain closed to tourists and non-essential travel. This is also the overall sentiment of Ivatans.)

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Cayco attributed their success in preventing community transmission of COVID-19 to the strict implementation of the 14-day quarantine period for all those arriving in the province. 

Batanes, known for its picturesque sights and peaceful atmosphere, has recorded a total of just 10 COVID-cases, and all have recovered.

“Hinihiling ko sa national IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) na sana maintindihan kami dito sa Batanes kung bakit kami ganung kahigpit sa pagpasok ng mga LSI (locally stranded individual) at mga APOR (authorized personnel outside of residence) dahil isa lang po ang aming hospital at kulang kami ng medical personnel. Wala pa po kaming testing laboratory dito,” she said.

(I hope that IATF would understand why we are very strict with the entry of LSI and APOR because we only have one hospital, we lack medical personnel, and we don’t have a testing laboratory yet.)

Meanwhile, the governor said they continue to provide assistance to workers and establishments affected by the pandemic.
 
“Patuloy kami sa pagbibigay ng ayuda gaya ng pansamantalang trabaho, livelihood assistance at microfinance assistance sa mga nawalan ng trabaho o displaced workers at mga nawalan ng hanap-buhay gaya ng hotels, restaurants, fishermen at farmers po," she said.

"Tinutugunan namin ang kanilang pangangailangan po dahil sa epekto ng pandemyang ito,” she said.

(We continue to provide help like temporary jobs and livelihood assistance and microfinance assistance to displaced workers and those who lost their livelihood like hotels, restaurants, fishermen and farmers. We try to address their needs due to the effects of the pandemic.)

Batanes is among provinces in the country under modified general community quarantine, the least stringent among the restriction levels. 
 

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