Baguio mulls allowing entry of fully vaccinated tourists

Published October 20, 2021, 12:08 PM

by Philippine News Agency

BAGUIO CITY — The city government might open its borders to tourists and non-essential travelers as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases here continue to drop.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong, in a media interview posted at the Public Information Office (PIO)-Baguio’s official social media page on Tuesday, said there will be an easing of restrictions.

“Hopefully, baka next week pwede na natin payagan (probably next week we might start to allow) non-essential travels but only for the fully vaccinated,” he said.

He said they first need to assure that the decrease in cases will continue before they finally decide to allow fully vaccinated tourists to visit the city again and enjoy its natural attractions.

EASING RESTRICTIONS. Baguio City government is mulling on the re-opening of its borders to tourists who are fully vaccinated. Mayor Benjamin Magalong said they will continue to observe the situation before finally deciding to allow tourists to enter anew. (PNA/Manila Bulletin)

“Kailangan muna na siguraduhin na (we need to ensure that) cases will continue to go down. Ayaw natin makita na magkakaroon na naman ng (we do not want to see that there is a) sudden increase, we might open up too early and it will create a saddle, ayaw natin mangyari yan (we do not want that to happen)” he said.

He said they also need to maintain the decline to give some respite to the health workers.

“We want to give them slack and be able to rest. The hospital situation is also improving,” the mayor said.

Based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) hospital care utilization rate (HCUR) data on Oct. 18, the city recorded an 82.34 percent bed utilization rate, and 73.21 percent mechanical ventilator utilization rate.

The DOH also recorded 98 new cases and 310 recoveries in the city on Monday that further brought the active cases to 1,559.

On October 3, the city had 4,778 cases with hundreds of new cases being recorded daily since September.

“If you remember last week I projected that this week, we will see a decrease, and it will continue to go down,” he said.

The mayor added that the city-managed Temporary Treatment Facilities (TTMF) have also been recording below 50 percent occupancy rate.

Baguio’s several TTMF has about a thousand beds catering to asymptomatic patients.