Air passengers bound for Davao City now have two options to comply with the requirement to present their 72-hour negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result prior to boarding their flight, the city government said.
In a statement on Wednesday, the local government said that passengers may now opt to take the RT-PCR test at the airport or their place of origin at their own cost.
They may also choose to take a free RT-PCR test at the Davao International Airport and prepare to wait inside a holding facility for the results for 24 hours to 48 hours.
The new options were presented after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s meeting with the members of the National Task Force for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Tuesday night.
Last week, Duterte announced that all Davao-bound air passengers will be required to show negative RT PCR test results taken 24 hours to 72 hours before their date of departure.
The free testing service is offered to utilize the P6 Million Bayanihan Grant allocated for RT-PCR testing for a private Covid-19 facility at the Davao airport.
“As approved during the meeting, the requirement of a negative RT-PCR result taken within 24 to 72 hours from departure date shall not be mandatory upon check-in at the airport of origin but shall be required upon exit at the Davao International Airport (DIA),” the mayor said.
All those who were tested at their places of origin within 24 to 72 hours of departure date but have not received their result shall not be allowed to exit the Davao airport until their test result is available, the city government said.
“We ensure that travellers who enter the city are negative, they just proceed with home quarantine. Dili na sad ta mag gukod sa contact tracing (so we would not go after people for contact tracing) since they do not have close contact,” Duterte said.
In a letter dated July 21 addressed to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, Mayor Sara also laid a modified set of guidelines for passengers entering Davao Airport.
Mayor Sara also sought the help of DOTr to request airlines to deplane all those with a negative RT-PCR test result first, followed by all those without their RT-PCR test result to ensure a safe and orderly exit out of the airport.
The city government will also accept a negative RT-PCR result taken within 24 to 72 hours from the domestic departure date conducted by a laboratory overseas for an international flight passenger, provided that all results written in a foreign language must have an English translation.
Children 12 years old and below are exempted from the RT-PCR requirement, provided that the accompanying adult passenger has a negative RT-PCR result.
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