No need for Cebu City employees to be tested for COVID-19, under MECQ
CEBU CITY –– Cebu City will no longer require establishments to have their employees tested for the new coronavirus as the Queen City of the South prepares to transition from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to a less stringent “modified” ECQ.
Lawyer Rey Gealon, spokesperson of Cebu City Hall, said they would comply with the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) that rapid tests for COVID-19 would not be made mandatory.
“This time, however, testing of employees in Cebu City will not be mandatory. The city government simply encourages our employers to test employees for safety purposes,” said Gealon in a press conference on Thursday, May 28.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella earlier ordered the mandatory testing of employees returning to work under modified ECQ.
But when the IATF approved their request to extend the ECQ until May 31, Labella revoked his executive order.
The IATF, however, recommended to President Duterte to downgrade the status of Cebu City from ECQ to “modified” ECQ starting June 1 for 15 days.
Cebu City is the only local government unit in the country to be under modified ECQ.
The INQUIRER tried to contact Labella on Thursday but he did not answer the phone calls.
In a radio interview last May 26, Labella said he was ready for whatever would be the decision of the IATF.
Gealon said the city would comply with the decision of the IATF and President Duterte.
“Cebu City is ready for a modified enhanced community quarantine. I believe people already know what a modified ECQ entails,” he said.
Under the modified ECQ, malls and commercial centers are allowed to reopen, but only for purchases in non-leisure stores.
Restaurants shall also be allowed to resume operations, but only for delivery and takeout.
During modified ECQ, the public is still mandated to stay at home unless accessing necessities and services. Only one person per household is allowed to go out to do errands.
Mass gatherings, including Eucharistic celebrations, are still restricted.
A maximum of only five persons is allowed to gather.
Except for public shuttles, all forms of public transportation remain suspended.
Traveling to Cebu City by air or by sea is still prohibited, except for authorized government officials and employees, health and emergency workers, law enforcement personnel, returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), trucks and vehicles transporting all types of cargo, and those who may be authorized by the mayor.
As of May 27, Cebu City has 2,013 cases of COVID-19.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.