Travelers from abroad must follow IATF rules on arriving in Cebu
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang ordered Cebu province on Monday to abide by health protocols set by the government’s pandemic task force, particularly on the testing of passengers arriving from abroad.
“The president has decided that IATF protocols must be implemented by the Cebu province. The president has also considered the DOH [Deparment of Health] critique and has decided that Cebu province must abide by the IATF arrival protocols,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said, quoting a message from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
The Cebu provincial government earlier decided to test all Filipinos from abroad on arrival at the airport, contrary to the protocol set by officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases who said testing should be done seven days after arrival.
After this, Malacañang ordered that all international flights bound for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) would be diverted to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) from May 29 to June 5.
This directive has been extended until June 12.
Roque said the extension was “just a preparation for full implementation” of the president’s decision.
An executive order issued by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s directed Filipinos from abroad to be subjected to swab testing on arrival at MCIA. They would then have to wait for the result in a quarantine hotel for two to three days.
Those who test positive will be transported to isolation facilities. Filipinos who test negative but who are not from Cebu will be allowed to proceed to their destination and follow the protocols prevailing there.
On the other hand, those from Cebu province will be allowed to go home to continue to be quarantined. They will undergo another swab test on the seventh day.
Garcia has met with President Rodrigo Duterte to clear things out regarding her province’s protocols for incoming passengers from abroad.
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