Western Visayas Closes Borders Amid COVID Surge

Parts of Boracay are under strict lockdown.

western visayas
Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan, Region VI
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Western Visayas

(SPOT.ph) Enhanced Community Quarantine has been extended over Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal—collectively dubbed NCR Plus—for at least one more week until April 11. This comes after a continuous surge in the Philippines' capital, accounting for some 60% of the nation's total virus cases that's now at 795,051 (as of April 4). But Western Visayas, composed of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental, is also seeing an increase in positive COVID cases in the region. In response, all of Region VI officially suspended incoming travel from NCR Plus and Cebu povince from April 4 to April 10.

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This was announced by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas on Saturday, April 3, following the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases' approval of Western Visayas' chief executives to restrict cross-border travel. This means that only Returning Overseas Filipinos and authorized personnel on official business are allowed to enter the region, given that they will undergo quarantine and present negative COVID-19 results.

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Stricter quarantine measures are also imposed in parts of Boracay island in Malay, Aklan. Barangay Balabag is under Enhanced Community Quarantine, while Zones 1 and 7 of Barangay Manocmanoc are under "surgical lockdown" until midnight of April 14. This comes after an increase in positive cases on the island with 36 active cases in Balabag and 13 active cases in Manocmanoc (as of March 30).

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Antique, on the other hand, is awaiting the decision of the regional and provincial Inter-Agency Task Force to approve their request to close inbound travel to the province (even from within Region VI).

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