Gov lifts swab test requirement for fully vaccinated travelers

FULLY vaccinated passengers coming to Cebu no longer need to undergo the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) test after the governor lifted the requirement effective Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.

However, all unvaccinated travelers are urged to undergo the Rapid Antigen Test within 24 hours before traveling to the island. Those who are unable to do so can be tested for free upon their arrival at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia signed Executive Order (EO) 43 series of 2022, which lays down the guidelines for those who want to travel to Cebu.

The EO took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.

Citing the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Infectious Diseases’ Resolution 2, which eases travel restrictions for inbound travelers to the Philippines, Garcia said “there is a need to relax testing, quarantine and health protocols for passengers traveling to Cebu for business or tourism purposes.”

“In no case shall a Rapid Antigen Test result be a requirement prior to boarding for travelers bound for Cebu,” the EO stated.

During check-in, passengers will only be required to present their tickets, passports or other valid IDs. Any other requirement, such as the Electronic Arrival Cards, will only be presented upon arrival in Cebu, the EO further stated.

The governor earlier said that to revive the local economy, Cebu Province needed to ease restrictions.

Aside from lifting the Covid-19 test requirement for fully vaccinated travelers, Garcia, in the same order, said the wearing of face masks is optional for all travelers bound for Cebu and the MCIA.

The Covid-19 test and wearing of face mask were among the health protocols put in place at the beginning of the pandemic more than two years ago.