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NegOr ECQ leaves 135 tourists stranded




Tourists are stranded in Dumaguete City after the declaration of ECQ in Negros Oriental effective Friday. (Dumaguete City Online Facebook)

DUMAGUETE CITY—The City Tourism Office said 135 foreigners are stranded in Negros Oriental following the cancellation of trips from here to Metro Manila and Cebu after the declaration of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.

The province is on the second day of its two-week ECQ on Saturday.

City Tourism officer Jacqueline Antonio said the majority of visitors “have opted to stay here, some with their families, in resorts and Air BnB accommodations.”

Only five requested for quarantine passes, required for persons to be able to leave their homes or temporary accommodations, while the province is under ECQ status.

Together with the Provincial Tourism Office, Antonio said they facilitated from March 20 to 28 the transfer of 583 foreigners to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu for their flights home.

She said the Tourism Office will keep in touch with the foreigners via text messaging or mobile phone calls “in case they have difficulties in the next two weeks.”  Most concerns are about visa extension.

The Bureau of Immigration has waived penalties for expired visas, except if one’s visa had expired before the imposition of the ECQ.  Once the ECQ is lifted, they have 30 days to submit their visa extension application. (PNA)

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