FAMILIES and groups from areas with stricter community quarantines need to present a travel pass when coming to Tagaytay City for tourism purposes.
This was the consensus reached between the Joint Task Force COVID Shield and Tagaytay City government as officials finally settled their conflicting views on whether or not a travel document is necessary when local tourists come to the city for rest and recreation.
The Tagaytay City government has opened its tourist spots to non-residents when it was placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the most relaxed quarantine category in the country, this month.
Task force chief Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and Tagaytay City mayor Agnes Tolentino met on Saturday to settle the confusion whether tourists are required to secure a travel pass to go on vacation in the city.
Cavite officials have been saying over the past weeks that tourists from Metro Manila and other areas may now come to the city for vacation without the need of a travel pass because they are already under MGCQ where local tourism is allowed.
This was disputed by Eleazar, citing guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. He threatened to apprehend and issue traffic tickets to visitors who cross the borders without a travel authority.
A travel pass or authority is issued by the PNP to locally-stranded individuals and other people who want to cross borders. It is issued once the applicants present medical certificates to prove they are not afflicted with COVID-19.
Members of the Authorized Persons Outside Residence, including frontliners and workers of permitted industries, are allowed to cross borders as long as their travel is work-related. Otherwise, they will also have to secure travel pass.
Following the Saturday meeting, Eleazar reminded local tourists: “We should remember that the ones allowed to go to MGCQ (areas) where tourism is open are only those also from MGCQ areas. Tourists from GCQ (general community quarantine) areas are not allowed to go there (without a travel pass).”
Metro Manila, Batangas, Bulacan and Tacloban City are the only areas in the country under GCQ. On the other hand, Iligan City, Bacolod City and Lanao del Sur are on the higher category of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
“Local tourists who would come from areas under the general community quarantine, modified enhanced community quarantine and enhanced community quarantine are still required to secure a travel authority,” Eleazar stressed.
In an interview, Tolentino said: “We have now cleared questions if travel pass is needed or not.”
“We are inviting everyone to come here provided you know what to bring and show at the borders so you will be allowed to enter Tagaytay,” she added.
Eleazar said the PNP has intensified police visibility “on the provincial borders and the popular destinations in Tagaytay City in order to effectively manage and control the arrival of tourists.”