Cebu City

Cebu City scraps COVID-19 testing for fully-vaccinated domestic travelers

Lorraine Ecarma
Minors in the city are now allowed outside their residences, provided they are accompanied by their parents or their guardians

Domestic travelers bound for Cebu who are fully vaccinated no longer need to undergo COVID-19 tests, Acting Mayor Michael Rama said in a directive on Monday, October 25.

Rama’s Directive No. 10-25-01, which took effect immediately, requires fully-vaccinated inbound travelers to only present either their official vaccination card with QR code or their official vaccination certificate (in the absence of QR codes in their cards) and a valid ID in lieu of negative COVID-19 test results.

Passengers who have not completed the required vaccination doses and those who have not yet been vaccinated still have to present either a negative RT-PCR test, a negative antigen test result, or a negative saliva swab test result.

“We’ve been within the WHO (World Health Organization) positivity rate for three weeks now. This is a good sign to ease restrictions ranging from travel requirements, increase capacity in enclosed establishments, allowing activities like contact sports n others but to fully Individuals only,” Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, head of the city Emergency Operations Center (EOC), told Cebu media in a statement.

According to data from the EOC, Cebu City’s active cases of COVID-19 had steadily decreased, recording 289 cases as of Saturday, October 23. The city recorded only 20 positive cases of COVID-19 out of the total 851 swabs processed on the same day, putting the city’s daily positivity rate at  2.35%.

This is well below the 5% positivity threshold set by the WHO for areas with manageable cases of COVID-19.

Directive No. 10-25-01 – addressed to Task Force “Puyo,” the EOC, and all other offices concerned – adopts the new Alert Level quarantine classifications set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Businesses partially reopen

Cebu City is currently under Alert Level 2, which, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, allows for the reopening of recreational venues at 50% capacity. Among these establishments covered are:

  • Amusement parks or theme parks
  • Recreational venues, such as internet cafés, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, archery halls, swimming pools, among others
  • Cinemas and movie houses
  • Venues for contact sports approved by the local government units
  • Fun fairs or kid amusement industries, such as playgrounds, playrooms, and kiddie rides
  • Venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences, such as karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters

Business establishments’ operational capacities have also been raised to 50% for indoor venues, and 70% for outdoor venues.

Minors now allowed to go out

Minors in the city are now allowed outside their residences, provided they are accompanied by their parents or their guardians.

“Regarding minors, in enclosed areas they’re treated as unvaccinated individuals, so they’re only allowed to dine in open and al fresco settings. Anyway, the inoculation of minors from 12 to 17 is ongoing. Soon they will be able to join and be safe among fully-vaccinated adults in an enclosed place,” Garganera said.

Before Cebu City contained its cases of COVID-19 in late August, it saw its largest surge of new cases in July. Some major hospitals in the city, for almost two weeks, were declared to be under critical status. –