Cebu City eases COVID-19 restrictions as cases decline

Mary Ruth Malinao - The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City, which is under Alert Level 2, has updated its health protocols after authorities noted a steady decline in new COVID infections as well as in active cases.

The city government said it would comply with and implement the Alert Level System in the management of public health emergency as mandated by the inter-agency task force on COVID.

In an order issued by Acting Mayor Michael Rama yesterday, curfew hours were moved from the previous 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The curfew will apply to all establishments and offices that were permitted to operate, the order said.

The city targets to achieve the Alert Level 1 category by vaccinating 70 percent of its target population belonging to the A2 and A3 age groups or the senior citizens and adults with comorbidities, respectively.

Councilor Joel Garganera, emergency operations center deputy chief implementer, said Rama’s order would take effect immediately. He gave assurance that authorities would constantly monitor compliance with minimum health protocols.

Authorized persons outside of residence or APORs, business process outsourcing employees, health workers and government personnel involved in frontline and emergency services will be exempted from the curfew.

Workers of cargo vehicles, public transportation and establishments allowed to operate are also not covered by the curfew.

Rama said his directive aims to “bring openness,” noting the city will not be following the same things that were taken before, but will adjust to changes.

The city government waived the RT-PCR or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or antigen test requirement for fully vaccinated travelers.

A valid ID or proof of identity bearing the vaccinated person’s picture and signature, and the official vaccination card with QR code will be required from travelers.

In the absence of a QR code, travelers may present the official vaccination certificate issued by a local health officer of the concerned local government unit or by the Bureau of Quarantine.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals are required to present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours before the travel or a negative antigen or saliva test result taken within the last 48 hours.

All testing procedures must be conducted by laboratories duly accredited by the Department of Health. — THE FREEMAN

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