Passengers bound for Cebu City from flagged countries will be quarantined

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | December 29,2020 - 02:26 PM
LOOK: The Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) has announced on Saturday, July 11, that they have secured Department of Health (DOH) and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) accreditations to officially start operations of MCIA’s own molecular laboratory to run COVID-19 tests. Designed to run around 1,500 to 3,000 samples per day, it is the first airport in the country to have its own molecular laboratory. | Photos courtesy of MCIAA

LOOK: The Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) has announced on Saturday, July 11, that they have secured the Department of Health (DOH) and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) accreditations to officially start operations of MCIA’s own molecular laboratory to run COVID-19 tests. Designed to run around 1,500 to 3,000 samples per day, it is the first airport in the country to have its own molecular laboratory. At midnight tonight, December 29, all Cebu City-bound flights from flagged countries will no longer be allowed entry at the MCIA.  | Photos courtesy of MCIAA

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City-bound passengers from countries reported to have the new strain of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) will be quarantined for 14 days in a health facility should they arrive today before the ban takes effect at midnight.

Councilor Joel Garganera, the deputy chief implementor of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said that they have already prepared a quarantine facility including the New Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (NOAH) Complex at the South Road Properties for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and other individuals from the countries listed below:

United Kingdom
Switzerland
Denmark
Hong Kong
Ireland
Singapore
Japan
Germany
Australia
Iceland
South Africa
Italy
Israel
Spain
Netherlands
Lebanon
Canada
Sweden
France
South Korea

This follows the ban on the entry of passengers or individuals from these countries to avoid bringing in the new COVID-19 strain which is said to be more contagious.

The ban will start at midnight on December 29, 2020, and will end on January 15, 2021.

Since passengers from some of these countries are still expected to arrive today before the ban, the local government units (LGUs) have been asked to place them under strict quarantine to ensure that they don’t have the virus.

This is already typically done for incoming passengers from abroad, but instead of home-quarantine, Garganera said they will be placed in a quarantine facility like NOAH or other facilities approved by the Department of Health (DOH).

“It was the restriction that will start this midnight, those that are now in transit they will be allowed to enter but must strictly comply with the 14-day quarantine regardless of the result.”

“We need to be strict on this due to the unique characteristics of the virus. We can’t really afford to have transmission if there is a false-negative result. Incoming passengers should be informed prior to their travel to take the burden or chose not to travel,” said Garganera.

Aside from NOAH, the passengers may opt for accredited hotels and pension houses. The city government is also mulling reopening the Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC) for these passengers should there be a lack of space.

Still, the EOC does not expect a huge number of city-bound passengers because travel restrictions are still in place. /rcg

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TAGS: 14-day quarantine, Cebu City, Councilor Joel Garganera, EOC, Mactan Cebu International Airport, MCIA, new COVID-19 strain, travel ban

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