POPULATION PROTECTION As the Cebu City government limits the movement of the unvaccinated, residents continue to troop to COVID-19 vaccination centers, like this one set up at at a public school in Barangay Tisa. —NESTLE SEMILLA
CEBU CITY—People not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer allowed to enter shopping malls and other indoor establishments in this city starting this week, after Mayor Michael Rama limited their movement due to another surge in infections.
The "no vaccination, no entry" policy, contained in Rama's Executive Order No. 157, mandates people who want to enter different indoor establishments in the city to present their vaccination cards.
Children 11 years old and below will not be allowed inside malls while those between 12 and 17 years old will be allowed to enter provided that they are fully vaccinated and are accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult.
"The devastating impact of Typhoon 'Odette' (international name: Rai) and the continuing threat of COVID-19 have given rise to the need to adopt a unified and collaborative approach for the health and economic recovery [in the city]," Rama said.
Establishments who violate the order will lose their business permits and will face charges.
Curfew for minors in the city starts at 10 p.m. and ends at 4 a.m. the following day. For nonessential or nonwork-related travels, curfew is from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Authorities decided to impose strict protocols after the number of active infections in Cebu City rose from just eight on Jan. 2 to 3,822 on Jan. 18.
Rama encouraged unvaccinated people to get inoculated against COVID-19 since this is a free service from the government.
The city also offered incentives to get more people inoculated as fully vaccinated residents will have a chance to win a house and lot package, a new car, household appliances, gift certificates and other prizes that will be raffled off this year.
As of Jan. 19, at least 540,136 people in Cebu City had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while 655,244 had received at least a dose. The city's population is 964,169 (based on the 2020 census).
Unvaccinated passengers going to and from Metro Manila, where the virus surge is raging, will no longer be allowed to travel by sea in Cebu.
In an advisory, the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) said all ports within its jurisdiction would allow access or issue tickets only to fully vaccinated people.
The CPA's "no vaccination, no ride" policy, implemented on Jan. 13, was an offshoot of an order from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to limit public transportation access to vaccinated individuals in the National Capital Region, which is under alert level 3.
"DOTr aims to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals in Metro Manila following an uptick in COVID-19 cases with the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant," the department said.
Passengers must present a government-issued identification card and any of the following: physical or digital copies of a vaccination card issued by a local government, a vaccination certification of the Department of Health and any document prescribed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
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