Puerto Princesa City has doubled down on its anti COVID-19 response measures, including suspending incoming commercial flights, cutting back on public gatherings and re-imposing curfew, as the number of local positive cases grew to currently 23 cases mostly originating from people travelling from the National Capital Region (NCR).

According to the city’s inter-agency task force (IATF) Resolution No. 33, inbound travel restrictions were also brought back to the fore after Malacañang announced that only APORs could travel out of Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces early this week.

The resolution also stated that an “alarming” number of new cases do not seem to be related to one another. However, it also stated that 19 out of the 23 recorded local cases this week are close contacts of two APORs who arrived from Metro Manila.

Sea and air travel will be suspended beginning March 27 to April 4 for NCR routes. Only essential cargo, such as medical supplies, will be allowed to be ferried. APORs who need to visit the municipalities on official business, if they have secured all the necessary permits and documents, are also excempted from the travel ban.

Curfew hours are now back at 10PM to 5AM beginning March 25 to April 4, along with increased visibility of COVID marshalls in public areas. Police will also be back to facilitate contact tracing measures and monitor active cases, as requested by the city Incident Management Team (IMT). Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) will also be present in the surveillance of active cases.

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Business establishments will be subject to random inspections by city officials to check if staff and customers are following protocols such as wearing masks and full-face face shields, providing disinfection paraphernalia and contact tracing forms, and if disinfection floor mats are available. Public and private establishments will once more be required to only have 50% of their workforce report for duty.

Restaurants and other dining establishments will be required to reduce their indoor services to 50% capacity but may still offer al fresco and take out services. Once more, those below 15 years old and above 60 years old are strictly advised to stay at home. Social gatherings such as weddings, funerals, and baptisms will be limited to only family members.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.