OBSERVE PROTOCOL. Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said Friday (Oct. 21, 2022) face masks and proof of full vaccination are required for those who want to visit cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria located in the province during "Undas" on November 1. He said local task forces have been directed to strictly enforce protocols by conducting patrols and exercising their visitorial powers. (PNA file photo)

ILOILO CITY – All cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria in Iloilo province will be open during "Undas" (All Saints' Day) on November 1 but visitors must observe the minimum public health standards, particularly the use of face masks, and show proof of vaccination before they are allowed entry.

The guidelines are contained in Executive Order 260-H extending the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Alert Level 1 classification of the province until October 31. The order was released by Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Thursday afternoon.

“We just issued this to reiterate because we are on Alert Level 1. The basic protocol is individuals 12 years old and above will be required to present proof of full vaccination before participating in mass gathering(s) or entry in indoor establishments. These rules include cemetery,” Defensor said in an interview with the media on Friday.

He added that the provincial government has directed local task forces to enforce the protocols strictly by conducting patrols and exercising their visitorial powers.

Defensor said there would also be adjustments in the face mask protocol.

He noted that while the wearing of face masks in open spaces or non-crowded areas with ventilation shall be optional, unvaccinated individuals, senior citizens, and immuno-compromised persons are highly encouraged to wear face masks at all times.

Face masks, however, are mandatory in open spaces and outdoor areas where there are mass gatherings and social distancing cannot be maintained.

“This is really based on the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) guidelines (on) Covid-19 Alert Level 1. We have adjustments,” he said.

Defensor added that the provincial government has to make adjustments due to the increasing cases of Covid-19, which could be due to the new variants recorded in the province.

As of October 19, Iloilo’s Provincial Health Office logged 424 active Covid-19 cases scattered in 42 local government units in the province. (PNA)