CEBU CITY, Philippines – Residents who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be subject to more restrictive mobility policies, as Mayor Michael Rama doubles down on the government’s vaccination campaign.
“All establishments, institutions, and entities whether private or public are enjoined to disseminate information that they will only cater, allow entry, and access to fully vaccinated clients and individuals starting January 1, 2022 regardless whether the venue is indoor or outdoor,” the mayor said in his new directive.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated residents are only allowed entry to essential establishments like banks, health clinics, hospitals, and markets.
Rama earlier vowed to inoculate all eligible residents by year end so that only minors not eligible for vaccination would be left unvaccinated by early 2022. His administration believes that these drastic policies would help push the rate of vaccination further.
In a press conference on Friday, December 3, Rama reiterated that people who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine would not be penalized. However, aside from entry into private and public establishments – with the exception of essential establishments – they would also not be allowed to participate in certain activities. (Read the full directive below.)
Under the directive, unvaccinated minors aged 12 to 17 would not be allowed entry to any establishments even when they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent, guardian, or responsible adult starting January 1, 2022.
“The ongoing and continuous vaccination for minors ages 12 to 17 years old will be intensified and included in the incentivized vaccination program,” Rama said in his directive.
Rama said that unvaccinated children who are aged 11 and below, or those who are not yet eligible for vaccination against COVID-19, would still be allowed entry in authorized establishments when accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent, guardian, or responsible adult.
According to the directive, travelers who cross Cebu City ports would need to present vaccination cards with a quick response (QR) code or a vaccination certificate from their local health unit or the Department of Health (DOH) upon arrival.
Travelers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated are expected to present negative RT-PCR test results within the last 72 hours from their departure. Antigen test or saliva test results within the last 48 hours from their departure would also be accepted as viable alternatives.
Here is the full directive as posted by the Cebu City Public Information Office:
Art Lubiano is a Visayas-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.