LAOAG CITY – Returning residents of Ilocos Norte stalled by quarantine restrictions can now pack their bags and head for home starting Sept 1.
In a public advisory on Monday night, the provincial government announced the lifting of the one-month moratorium on accepting locally stranded individuals and returning overseas Filipinos.
“The Provincial Government advises all returning residents to coordinate with their respective local government units to facilitate their return in accordance with existing guidelines,” the advisory read.
Whether fully vaccinated or not, all returning residents are mandated to submit a negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) result taken within 60 hours upon arrival.
To avoid unnecessary delays, the resident is likewise advised to request for an acceptance letter from the mayor and a resident admittance to be secured at the border.
Though mandatory home quarantine is no longer required, the returning resident is strongly encouraged to minimize movement and stay home for at least one week.
"This is indeed good news for us returning residents who have been longing to be reunited with our families in the province. I'm excited to go home!" Wilma dela Cruz of San Nicolas town told the Philippine News Agency.
Dela Cruz, a widow and mother of five, is in Manila and has been waiting to go home for more than a month now.
She also appealed to local officials if they could consider antigen tests as an RT-PCR procedure is more expensive, especially for a displaced worker like her.
Governor Matthew Manotoc also retained the enhanced community quarantine status of 19 towns until Sept. 7.
Executive Order No. 151-21, released on Monday, stated that all cities and municipalities, except Adams, Carasi, Dumalneg, and Pagudpud, will remain under the strictest lockdown to contain the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
With 16 new cases on Monday, compared to 109 new cases and 10 deaths the day before, the Provincial Health Task Force hopes that the Covid-19 case track will continue to decline with a united citizenry who continue to keep their guards up and avoid unnecessary gathering and traveling.
Presently, there are 3,669 active cases out of a total 15,162 infections. (PNA)