MANILA—Popular tourist destination Puerto Galera, located south of Metro Manila, will no longer be requiring travelers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to present a negative RT-PCR result.
The new protocol for all travelers going in and out of Puerto Galera is contained in Executive Order No. 30-2021, signed by Mayor Rocky Ilagan on Friday.
Exempted from undergoing the mandatory RT-PCR testing are individuals who are holders of domestic vaccination cards indicating full vaccination after a period of at least two weeks after having received 2nd dose of a 2-dose series, or a single-dose of COVID-19 vaccine from legitimate vaccinating establishment with emergency use authorization (EUA) list or compassionate special permit issued by the Food and Drug Administration, or EUA listing in the World Health Organization.
However, lodging businesses still have the prerogative to require RT-PCR test to those fully vaccinated.
All travelers are also required to register to s-pass.ph upon entry and exit in all ports as required by the Department of Transportation.
Upon arrival at the Puerto Galera borders, travelers will undergo health and exposure screening.
The national government earlier said that it would review the latest travel policy allowing those who received 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to skip confirmatory testing when traveling domestically. This, after local government leaders expressed concerns on the policy, citing lack of consultation and the difficulty to validate vaccination cards.
Ilagan in earlier reports said the pandemic has affected many of his residents who mainly relay on tourism for their livelihood. He also appealed for more vaccines to help restart the local economy.
Meanwhile, the municipality recently received its safety seal from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which shows that the LGU is complying with minimum health and public standards.
As of July 2, Puerto Galera reported 13 active cases of COVID-19.