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Baguio to reopen to fully vaxxed tourists

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Tourists and non-essential travelers may be allowed to enter this city as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to drop.

“Hopefully by next week we can allow non-essential travels, but only for the fully vaccinated,” Mayor Benjamin Magalong said.

However, Magalong stressed the need to ensure that new COVID cases continue to decrease.

“We might open up too early and it will create a saddle. We do not want that to happen,” he said.

The Department of Health (DOH) said hospital care utilization rate in the city went down to 82.34 percent while mechanical ventilator utilization rate was at 73.2 percent as of Monday.

Magalong said temporary treatment facilities recorded an occupancy rate of below 50 percent.

The DOH logged 98 new cases on the same day, bringing the active infections to 1,559.

Magalong noted that the number of active cases rose to nearly 5,000 on Oct. 3.

Magalong attributed the decrease in COVID-19 cases to compliance with health and safety protocols, cooperation of local government units in La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay towns to limit mobility aside from stricter quarantine measures.

In Mandaue City, the local government announced that fully vaccinated travelers need to present only their vaccination card or certificate.

Those who are unvaccinated or received only their first dose shall be required to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival or antigen test taken 48 hours before travel aside from proof of identity and essential travel.

In Cebu City, acting mayor Michael Rama said the easing of travel requirements for fully vaccinated individuals has yet to be decided. –– Caecent No-ot Magsumbol/The Freeman

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