Cebu to ban entry of passengers from outside province
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Cebu Provincial government will start banning the entry of visitors from outside the province as part of their mitigation efforts on the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The ban will cover those who are planning to arrive at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and all seaports in Cebu. Its validity will run up to 30 days.
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia made this announcement in a press conference after the Capitol conducted an emergency meeting with the province’s inter-agency task force on COVID-19.
Flights from Metro Manila, and Dumaguete City were banned immediately. Those from Cagayan de Oro City, Legazpi City, and Clark will take effect on March 16, 2020.
All other flights from domestic destinations will also be banned starting on March 17, 2020, or 72 hours after Garcia had notified the public of the Capitol’s decision to close its doors to outside visitors.
Seaports were not spared as the Capitol also decided to prevent the entry of passengers from Dumaguete City starting March 16, 2020.
Those from Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental, and the cities of Escalante and San Carlos in Negros Occidental will not be allowed to enter Cebu this March 17, 2020.
Passengers from other ports will be denied entry to Cebu starting this March 18, 2020.
Garcia said these measures were part of the province’s plans ‘to mitigate the impact and spread of COVID-19 which had infected 111 patients in the country as of March 14, 2020.
She clarified that these did not constitute as a lockdown or a community quarantine.
Garcia also cautioned Cebuanos who were planning to travel outside the island amid the government’s declarations to limit entry of passengers.
“We’re not prohibiting Cebuanos to go out, however, if they go out, they may not be able to come back,” she said.
While passenger vessels would be affected by the province’s decisions, Garcia assured that cargo and freight ships would not be barred.
She also said the local governments of Lapu-Lapu City and Cebu City had expressed support to comply with the mandates from the Capitol.
Supply Chain not Interrupted
“Cargoes and supplies are still allowed, provided that they will be subjected for stringent measures and screening procedures will be conducted,” Garcia said.
The governor said she would be issuing soon the signed Executive Order (EO) that would contain all these guidelines.
The Capitol likewise will be implementing an eight-hour curfew, that will start from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., in all towns and component cities under it.
“There will be exemptions (to the curfew) and that will be those who are tasked to deliver basic essentials,” said Garcia.
“Those who want to be exempted (especially business process outsourcing companies) will have to submit a formal request to the Capitol,” she added.
Garcia also ordered the temporary closure of movie theaters, cockpits, and that restaurants should not operate beyond 9 p.m.
“Social distancing should also be strictly observed in commercial establishments such as shopping malls,” she added.
Garcia announced that the Provincial Board will be coming up with a resolution that seeks to penalize individuals, groups or firms caught violating the EO.
“We likewise ask local government officials and the mayors to ensure these measures are strictly observed,” Garcia said./dbs
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