Covid test required for unvaxxed onsite workers in Level 2 areas

·3 min read

UNVACCINATED workers who are required to work onsite in private and government entities in areas under Alert Level 2 and above must undergo coronavirus disease (Covid-19) RT-PCR testing once every two weeks or a weekly antigen test.

Government agencies and local government units may cover the cost of Covid-19 testing of their unvaccinated employees, subject to availability of funds and civil service, accounting and auditing rules and regulations, presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar said on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Employees infected with coronavirus over the past 90 days, as well as those with alternative working arrangements, such as work-from-home, are exempted from the testing requirement.

Andanar said all establishments and employers in the public and private sector in areas with sufficient Covid-19 vaccines must require their eligible employees who are tasked to do onsite work to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Further, testing requirements mentioned above shall be waived for areas under Alert Level 1 classification, subject to the implementation of clinical-based management, including symptomatic testing,” he said.

Andanar said the updated testing requirements for unvaccinated employees were approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Monday, June 27.

The IATF first imposed the fortnightly testing requirement for onsite workers last Dec. 4, without making any distinction on alert level classification. It is unclear whether this was strictly enforced then. In Metro Cebu, the prices for these tests then ranged from P900 to P3,200.

Vaccination against Covid-19, on the other hand, is free.

Cebu on Level 2

On Tuesday, the IATF also announced that despite the increase in Covid-19 cases over the recent weeks, majority of the provinces and highly urbanized cities in the country will remain under Alert Level 1.

In Cebu, the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay, as well as the municipalities of Alcoy, Borbon, Oslob, Pilar, Santander and Tudela will remain under Alert Level 1 from July 1 to 15.

But the rest of Cebu Province will remain under Alert Level 2.

For the rest of Central Visayas, Siquijor; Batuan, Calape, Corella, Dimiao, Duero, Garcia Hernandez, Jagna, Lila, Loay, Loboc, Maribojoc, San Isidro, San Miguel, Sevilla, Sikatuna, and Tagbilaran City (Capital) in Bohol; Amlan (Ayuquitan), Bacong, Dauin, Dumaguete City (Capital), Valencia (Luzurriaga) and Zamboanguita in Negros Oriental will also be under Alert Level 1, with the rest of Bohol and Negros Oriental to be under Alert Level 2.

Sought for comment, Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) president Alfred Reyes said his group would have no problems with the directive.

“As far as HRRAC is concerned, we have been compliant with the said mandate. Majority of our members handled quarantine, so majority of our members and their staff are vaccinated. So that will not be an issue for HRRAC,” Reyes told SunStar Cebu Tuesday.

“We are not really affected because majority of our members handled quarantine and when you are in quarantine, you should be vaccinated. Whatever is the government mandate, we will comply,” Reyes said. (with EHP)

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