Negros Occidental to close tourist sites

Gilbert Bayoran, Elijah Felice Rosales (The Philippine Star) - April 16, 2021 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Tourist destinations in Negros Occidental face closure for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson stressed the need to impose stricter quarantine measures after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases rejected their proposal to place the province under general community quarantine.

Lacson said tourist destinations in areas with high number of COVID-19 cases would be closed while those with low cases would be allowed to operate at limited capacity.

Meanwhile, Lacson said Iloilo is no longer closing its border with Negros Occidental.

Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. informed Lacson that the provincial government and Office of Civil Defense regional office decided against the closure as they expressed confidence on the measures being undertaken by the Negros Occidental provincial government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As this developed, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat ordered the new regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas to strictly enforce minimum health protocols in tourist destinations.

Cristine Mansinares, who heads the region’s tourism development department, was named to the post.

The DOT in Western Visayas is one of the busiest as as it hosts many of the famous tourist destinations in the country, including Boracay.

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