Baguio City will tighten border screening starting Saturday after nearby towns saw a spike in COVID-19 cases, its mayor said Thursday.
The Summer Capital earlier formed a tourism bubble with nearby areas and the Ilocos region, with tourists from Luzon permitted entry in October.
According to Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, those coming from the towns of Tuba, La Trinidad and Sablan will be met with stricter rules.
"Kailangan po talaga namin higpitan para di kami nagpapalitan ng infection (We really need to tighten our borders so we don't exchange infections.) We were hoping also they will increase their contact tracing and testing capacity," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
Magalong, who also serves as the country's contact tracing czar, said other towns have lower testing and contact tracing capacities compared to Baguio City.
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An initial 200 tourists were allowed entry to the city, and was later increased to 500. For now, Baguio is accommodating about 300 tourists at a time. Prior to the pandemic, Baguio saw about 3,000 to 4,000 tourists daily, with weekends bringing in some 7,000 tourists.
The country's contact tracing rate is between 1:7 and 1:9, Magalong said. Efforts to trace COVID-19 contacts are improving, albeit at slow rate. He urged local government units to use the StaySafe app if their areas of jurisdiction do not have digital contact tracing apps.
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