Cebu becomes 1st province to drop RT-PCR results as requirements for incoming local tourists
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Provincial government has officially dropped real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results as requirements for incoming domestic tourists.
This as Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on February 22 signed and issued Executive Order (EO) No. 12 easing travel restrictions for persons traveling to the province of Cebu to engage in tourism-related activities.
“The Provincial Government of Cebu is reviving the economy that was repressed due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, there is a need to ease the travel restrictions of persons traveling into the province for tourism-related activities in observance of the Omnibus on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines and other resolutions of the IATF-MEID (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases),” portions of the EO stated.
The EO, which took effect immediately, also formalized Garcia’s plans to fully reopen the province for tourists by eliminating several protocols, including negative RT-PCR results.
Instead, the Capitol mandated future visitors to present a valid medical certificate obtained seven days prior to their arrival, pre-booking at a resort or hotel establishment, and pass symptoms checking or screening points at departure and arrival points.
As a result, Cebu becomes the first province to do away with negative RT-PCR results as pre-requisite for entry for incoming local tourists.
“The Local Government Unit of destination may issue reasonable regulations which shall be submitted to and approved by the Governor. Thereafter, said regulations shall be submitted to the Department of the Interior and Local Government,” it said.
Garcia has been vocal on her plans to resuscitate the province’s ailing economy adversely affected by the crisis spawned by the COVID-19.
Last February 11, the Provincial Tourism Task Force convened and agreed in further easing restrictions for domestic tourists.
The task force is composed of officials from the Capitol as well as various Central Visayas offices of national government agencies including Department of Tourism, Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, and DILG.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), in earlier interviews, urged future tourists to seek professional help whenever they feel unwell during their visit here. /dbs
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