No need for covid test to enter Cebu Province

·3 min read

EFFECTIVE immediately, travelers wishing to enter Cebu Province will no longer need to present a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or rapid antigen test result.

A new memorandum issued by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, said a medical certificate attesting that the bearer does not have symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) will be enough to gain entry to the Province.

“Instead, they shall present a medical certificate certifying that they do not exhibit symptoms of Covid-19 disease at the point of origin. The medical certificate should be issued 24 hours immediately before arrival in Cebu,” the memorandum states.

It was directed to all mayors, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority and all airline operators.

In Cebu City, fully vaccinated travelers may present only a negative saliva test result to gain entry.

Others entering Cebu City through any of the ports and other points of entry are still required to present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within the last 72 hours or negative antigen test result taken within the last 48 hours.

A saliva test is still an RT-PCR test. But instead of nasopharyngeal swabs, the specimen tested is saliva.

The test must be conducted within 48 hours before the date of departure, based on Executive Order 143 issued by Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama on Friday, Oct. 1.

RT-PCR tests detect Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, while an antigen test determines whether an individual suffered from or is battling an infection, not necessarily Covid-19.

Rama’s directive placed Cebu City under general community quarantine (GCQ) from Oct. 1 to 31.

“The way to liberation is vaccination and the way to sustainability is continuing prevention,” Rama said.

“We must give premium for those who have been fully vaccinated and whoever will enter an establishment will also be safer. They do not have to be concerned and worried about contracting Covid,” he added.

Among the salient points of Rama’s Oct. 1 EO are the following:

Any person under 15 years old, those who are over 65 years old, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women are required to remain in their residences at all times, except for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in industries and offices or other activities permitted in the previous executive orders;

The curfew is from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. the following day, for all establishments and offices that are permitted to operate;

Authorized persons outside of residence (Apor), employees of BPOs, health workers, and government agencies providing frontline and emergency services are exempted from the curfew, while workers, cargo vehicles, public transportation, and operating hours of permitted establishments are not restricted by the curfew hours;

Gatherings limited only to weddings, birthdays, and baptisms are allowed in venues/facilities for these events at 40 percent or 125 persons (whichever is lower), as long as all attendees are fully vaccinated already against Covid-19; clearances must also be issued by the Emergency Operations Center;

Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, and interment held in sitios, chapels, churches, mass in churches, novenas in chapels, and the like will be limited to 50 percent of the venue capacity, and with strict compliance to the minimum public health standards for the duration of the activity; and Requiem masses at home will be allowed only from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The EO also specifies the allowed capacity of establishments, persons or activities permitted to operate:

Food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants and eateries are allowed to operate outdoor dine-in services (al fresco) at 75 percent capacity.

Indoor dine-in services are limited to 50 percent of the venue capacity for fully vaccinated customers only, provided that employees and personnel must also be fully vaccinated.

Personal care services limited to beauty salons, barbershops, beauty parlors, massage parlors and nail spas are limited to 50 percent of the venue capacity for fully vaccinated customers only. (WBS, ANV)

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