In light of the ongoing travel restrictions imposed all over the Philippines, returning overseas Filipinos who are bound for Cebu can breathe easy as the city government has announced that it will require new arrivals to quarantine, unless they test positive for COVID-19, according to a new local government advisory that came into effect on March 31 (Wednesday).
Philippine media on Wednesday shared the important announcement citing an executive order issued by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia that revised the travel guidelines for Filipino citizens arriving at Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
LGU: Cebu-Bound Overseas Filipinos Not Required to Quarantine
As per the advisory, travellers will only have to complete an online registration form and take the free PCR test upon arrival. They must have a pre-booked hotel room where they will have to stay until test results are released, according to the governor’s Executive Order No. 17.
The advisory pointed out: “Upon release of a negative RT-PCR test result, the OFW (overseas Filipino worker) or returning non-OFW shall be allowed to depart for his or her local government unit of destination. No other requirement shall be imposed by the LGU in this regard,” it added.
READ | COVID WATCH: Latest executive order of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia removes 14-day quarantine requirement for returning OFWs as long as they test negative in the PCR test upon arrival. The test will be administered by DOH. | via Le Antojado #TheFreeman pic.twitter.com/2LGtfHgTo3
— The Freeman (@TheFreemanNews) March 30, 2021
However, if the passenger tests positive, health protocols laid down by the Department of Health shall be followed.
In a statement, Garcia emphasized: “Requirement of quarantining an OFW and a returning non-OFW and swabbing them only on the 5th day after their arrival puts a heavy financial burden on the returning non-OFW and bludgeons the finance of OWWA that may very well be used other purposes.”
According to national government rules, Filipino passengers will have to go straight to facility-based quarantine upon arrival, and PCR tests shall be carried out on the fifth day. If results turn up negative, they will be endorsed to the local government unit that will strictly monitor the rest of their 14-day quarantine. These rules, however, no longer apply to those arriving in the province of Cebu.