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With diversion of flights lifted, Cebu continues to implement Swab-Upon-Arrival policy

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram June 14,2021 - 09:16 AM

With diversion lifted, Cebu continues to implement Swab-Upon-Arrival policy

A Qatar Airways flight lands at MCIA in this May 2021 photo. | CDN File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The diversion of international flights bound for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) has already been lifted as of Sunday, June 13.

And Cebu will continue to implement its Swab-Upon-Arrival policy on arriving Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs), says Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Department of Health in Central Visayas.

Loreche, in a series of messages sent to reporters, said she personally met the first set of Filipino passengers, who boarded a Scoot flight from Singapore and arrived at MCIA on Sunday, following Malacañang’s orders to divert them all to the country’s capital until June 12.

“I was there in MCIAA (that) afternoon to receive the arriving passengers and (was) conducting orientation on (the Swab-Upon-Arrival Policy) and the IATF (Resolution No.) 114,” said Loreche.

IATF stands for the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, the national government’s anti-COVID-19 task force.

According to Loreche, some of the passengers, particularly Cebu residents, who arrived on Sunday were “elated and proud” that they are finally back home.

“It tugs our hearts, and in any way we can help, we (will) do so,” she added.

Earlier, Malacañang issued an order to divert all flights bound for MCIA to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) twice. First, from May 29 to June 5, then from June 7 to June 12.

The diversions, the Palace said, were set so that the protocols specified in IATF Resolution No. 114 will be “fully and seamlessly implemented” here.

Cebu has its own swabbing policies for incoming Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) called the Swab-Upon-Arrival policy.

The rule deviated from those implemented by the IATF that requires incoming Filipino travelers from abroad to undergo quarantine for 14 days in which 10 days will be made in an accredited facility and the remaining four days will be spent on home quarantine.

They, too, will only be subjected to swabbing on the seventh day.

In Cebu, ROFs and OFWs will be swabbed upon arrival, and will only need to stay in quarantine for a maximum of three days if they test negative for the infection.

Residents in Cebu will also undergo another round of swab tests once they arrive at their respective localities, which will be shouldered by the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7). /dcb


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TAGS: DOH-7, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, IATF, Mactan Cebu International Airport, MCIA, Swab-Upon-Arrival Policy

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