Cebu City to bar unvaccinated residents from establishments
MANILA (UPDATED)—Starting Jan. 1, residents of Cebu City who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are barred entry in local businesses.
Speaking to TeleRadyo Monday, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said his new directive was designed to encourage more people to get inoculated against the disease by year-end.
"All establishments, institutions, and entities whether private or public are enjoined to disseminate information that they will only cater, allow entry, and access to fully vaccinated clients and individuals starting January 1, 2022 regardless whether the venue is indoor or outdoor," the directive read.
Cebu City, which is currently under Alert Level 2, has more than 450,000 fully vaccinated individuals while 643,000 others have received the first dose. The city government aims to inoculate 700,000 to achieve herd immunity.
Under the city government's order, unvaccinated minors aged 12 to 17 would not also be allowed to enter any establishments even if they are accompanied by fully vaccinated parents, guardians or responsible adults.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated children aged 11 and below or those not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination would still be allowed entry in authorized establishments when accompanied by fully vaccinated responsible adults.
The city mayor also mandated that unvaccinated elderly and people with disabilities would not be prioritized for their monthly financial assistance, which is set to be released by next week.
In the interview, Rama disclosed that the city's positivity rate, or the percentage of people testing positive of total people tested, was less than 1 percent.
Cebu City currently has 83 active COVID-19 cases after recording 1 new virus case on Sunday.
Since the pandemic began, the city has tallied 41,237 COVID-19 cases, with 1,522 deaths.
For Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, there should be considerations for those who have reasons not to be vaccinated.
“It must be coursed through a legal process. In the absence of such, we must also temper regulations to consider the circumstances of our elderly and vulnerable sector such as the state of their health and their religion," he said.
There is also, he said, a poor information education campaign on the efficacy of vaccines against the virus.
“We are asking the mayor to reconsider. This is like a discriminatory statement especially to the senior citizens who will be last in the priority for the financial assistance because they are not vaccinated,” the councilor added.
The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industries has expressed support to the city government's new directive in a bid to revive the pandemic-battered economy.—With a report from Annie Perez