Mayor seeks entry of vaccinated foreigners to Lapu-Lapu City
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Mayor Junard Chan has appealed to the national government to ease restrictions on foreign tourists who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so they can visit his city and help revive the local economy.
Chan, in a statement on Tuesday, said he asked the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to allow foreign tourists in the city as long as they could present proof that they had completed their COVID-19 vaccine shots and submit a negative swab test result prior to their arrival in Lapu-Lapu City.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said he would bring the mayor’s request to the IATF.
“I will let the IATF know. That was why I asked a letter from the mayor and addressed to (Health) Secretary (Francisco) Duque (III), the chairman of the IATF,” Roque said at a press briefing here on Tuesday.
“It seems that what Mayor Chan is proposing is workable because Lapu-Lapu City has its own airport. We could have a bubble setup provided the tourist was already vaccinated and has a negative swab test,” he said.
Roque, however, stressed that the final decision would come from the IATF. “It will be a collegial decision of the IATF, so we will endorse that to the IATF,” he said.
Lapu-Lapu City, located on Mactan Island, is under a modified general community quarantine, the most relaxed quarantine status.
The city is home to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the second biggest gateway to the country. It also hosts an export processing zone complex and the biggest resorts in Cebu province.
—DALE G. ISRAEL
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