AFTER noting a steady rise in Covid-19 cases from swabbed inbound travelers, the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has proposed amending the requirements needed for inbound travelers entering Cebu City seaports.
The EOC, in a resolution, proposed to amend Executive Order 125 issued by Mayor Edgardo Labella on March 25, 2021.
The resolution was endorsed by EOC deputy chief implementer Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy for medical services Michelle Linsalata, and assistant incident commander Junine Aragones in a letter to Labella dated June 30.
The resolution proposes that all arriving passengers, regardless of the local government unit of destination should present either a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result taken 72 hours prior to departure; or a negative antigen test result taken 48 hours prior to departure.
Those with a history of Covid-19 infection can present their positive RT-PCR test result taken not more than three months from travel and their isolation certificate from a Department of Health (DOH)-accredited quarantine facility.
Exempted from this rule are government authorized persons outside of residence (Apor), according to the proposed amendment.
(Under EO 125, only Cebu City residents are required to present Covid-19 test results and the City only accepts RT-PCR test results.)
The Covid-19 test results should be presented to the City Seaport Team upon arrival along with the traveler’s identification card.
The resolution said travelers must comply with these documents. Shipping lines will be held responsible should the travelers fail to secure these and yet arrive in the city.
In such a case, it will be the responsibility of the shipping lines to deport these passengers back to their port of origin, the EOC resolution said.
For government Apor, given the exemption to comply with the Covid-19 test results, they will have to present their mission or travel order.
The government employees should also undergo symptoms screening and present their valid government ID.
The EOC also proposed to do away with a provision of Labella’s EO 125 which mandated barangays to monitor the travelers.
The EOC said it would be irrelevant as all arriving passengers, regardless of the LGU of destination, would now submit a negative Covid-19 test result.
The EOC also proposed to conduct a confirmatory RT-PCR test for antigen-negative passengers coming from areas with a high level of Covid-19 transmission.
The EOC came up with these recommendations also after the EOC-Seaport swabbing cluster noted a steady decline in the travelers’ compliance with arrival requirements.
Garganera hoped Labella would look into the endorsement as soon as possible. (JJL)