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By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Sta. Fe and the other towns of Bantayan island, as well as the Camotes group of islands, which are famous for its white sand beaches, are not covered by the ban on passengers.

Boat trips to and from the Camotes group of islands and Bantayan Island are not affected by the travel restriction imposed by the Cebu Provincial Government as precautionary measures against the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

In a press conference on Tuesday, March 17, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia clarified that only passengers coming from other provinces are banned from entering Cebu through any of its seaports. 

“What does that mean? Ang atong kaugalingong island-municipalities or island-barangays are not covered kay Cebu man, para man ni pagprotehir sa mga Sugbuanon,” she pointed out.

“Ang Bantayan, ang Camotes, even trips from Pilar to Poro or Tudela, dili na covered. Ang Malapascua, Carnaza, Duong ug uban pa nga mga isla, dili na apil,” she added. 

“Apan kon gikan na’s Leyte (another province) moadto padung sa Pilar (in Camotes Island, Cebu), covered na na,” she said.

This is also true for Cadiz City in Negros Occidental which has regular sea traffic to Polambato in Bogo City. 

The restriction also covers passengers only, not cargoes. Free movement of cargoes shall continue subjected to sanitary measures. 

The Cebu Port Authority assured Garcia in a meeting with the Provincial Anti-Covid 19 Task Force last March 13 that although goods will be subjected to protocols set for seaports, there is no ban on the entry of supplies.

The governor made this clear in the press conference after netizens expressed confusion on whether sea trips to and from Camotes and Bantayan Islands are part of her Executive Order (EO) No. 5-F “prohibiting the entry of domestic passengers arriving in Cebu, for sea travel, for a period of thirty days.”

EO 5-F is one of the series of executive orders Garcia issued on March 14 imposing strict border controls.

Effective 12:01 of March 16, travelers arriving at Pier 1 and all seaports in Samboan and Santander were no longer allowed entry.

Effective 12:01 of March 17, restrictions for travelers arriving in the ports of Toledo, Tuburan, Tabuelan, and Tangil (Dumanjug) started.

Effective 12:01 of March 18, all ports in the Province of Cebu will be closed to passenger travel.

Curfew is also imposed from 10 pm to 5 am in all of its 44 towns and seven component cities – Danao, Bogo, Toledo, Carcar, Naga, Talisay, and Mandaue. (Eleanor Valeros)