LGUs hesitant to remove COVID-19 test as travel requirement – DOT

Some local governments are hesitant to remove their COVID-19 testing requirement, particularly in cities with tourist destinations, according to the head of the Department of Tourism.

According to DOT chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, although they are in favor of establishing the same requirements for joining local governments, their office thinks that some cities will not allow the “test before travel” requirement to be removed.

“Ang pabor kami is uniformity ng requirements, doon kami pabor. With regard to test before travel, we leave it up to the LGU, kasi LGU nagdedesisyon. Based sa mga binibisita ko, hindi sila papayag talaga na walang test before travel lalo na NCR ay GCQ pa tayo, sa GCQ marami pa tayo cases,” said Puyat.

It may be recalled that the Department of the Interior and Local Government proposed to remove testing as a requirement for travel to cities.

According to DILG, it is mandatory to test if the passenger has symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 and if they come from an area with higher quarantine status.

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LGUs hesitant to remove COVID-19 test as travel requirement – DOT

“Kung ikaw ay walang ganung klaseng exposure, hindi po mandated talaga ang testing. Banggit po ng ating mga epidemiologists, as long as meron kang minimum health standards… 95 percent po hindi po tayo makakapaghawa at hindi rin tayo mahahawa,” said DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing.

Cebu no longer requires domestic tourists to show a negative COVID-19 test, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia announced on Monday.

“We’ll make it simpler. No more RT-PCR tests. No more antigen test. No more rapid test,” Garcia, speaking in mixed English and Cebuano languages.

“We will make it easier for all tourists to come into the province of Cebu,” she added.

But a few experts have expressed their doubts about it. OCTA Research has also warned against the removal of the COVID-19 test and easing for tourists.

More than 4 million people in tourism have been affected by travel restrictions aimed at limiting human movement due to the COVID-19 threat.