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Still no mandatory quarantine for Cebu-bound OFWs, non-OFWs
In an IATF Resolution No. 114 dated May 6, 2021, which was only released yesterday, all arriving travelers are required to undergo the 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Still no mandatory quarantine for Cebu-bound OFWs, non-OFWs

Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - May 8, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Capitol will still not require repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and returning non-OFWs bound for Cebu province to undergo the mandatory quarantine despite the order of the inter-agency task force (IATF) on pandemic response.

In an IATF Resolution No. 114 dated May 6, 2021, which was only released yesterday, all arriving travelers are required to undergo the 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

IATF order added that the first 10 days shall be observed in a quarantine facility, with the remainder to be completed under home quarantine in their respective local government units of destination.

It also required inbound travelers to be tested for COVID-19 on the seventh day of their quarantine, citing the findings that an individual’s viral load is high on the seventh or eighth day. Currently, Filipinos and foreign nationals who enter the country are tested for COVID-19 on the fifth day of their quarantine upon arrival in the country.

“Notwithstanding a negative test result, the arriving traveler shall complete the facility-based quarantine period of ten days,” the IATF resolution read.

The revision in protocols was made to slow down the surge in COVID-19 cases and to stop further spread of variants, including the Indian variant.

But Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said OFWs and non-OFWs returning to Cebu are no longer required to isolate unless they are confirmed to be infected with COVID-19.

Also, the governor said, they will only undergo a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test upon arrival.

“I have already stated my position on the matter under EO (Executive Order) 17,” she told The FREEMAN yesterday.

Garcia on March 30, 2021 issued EO.17 that sets new guidelines and protocols for entry of Filipino passengers from abroad. It took effect on Wednesday, March 31.

“Requirement of quarantining an OFW and a returning non-OFW and swabbing them only on the 5th day after their arrival puts a heavy financial burden on the returning non-OFW and bludgeons the finance of OWWA (Overseas Welfare Workers Administration) that may very well be used other purposes,” Garcia said in her EO.

Filipino travelers from overseas will only be required to fill up the mandatory online Passenger Registration Form at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, RT-PCR tests upon arrival, which shall also be free of charge, and pre-book hotel room where they will be waiting for their results.

Upon release of a negative RT-PCR test result, the EO said, they shall be allowed to go home.

“No other requirement shall be imposed by their Local Government Unit of destination under the Cebu Province in this regard,” the EO read.

Should the RT- PCR test results turn out positive, the EO said, health protocols for the treatment of COVID-19 positive individuals shall be followed. — KQD (FREEMAN)

OFW
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