A NEGATIVE test result for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will be required from all travelers entering Cebu’s air and sea ports starting Aug. 18 to curb the spike in cases in the province.
The result could either be from an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival or a rapid antigen test within 48 hours, based on Executive Order No. 40 signed by Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia on Monday.
For drivers and crew of delivery vans and trucks, the validity of a rapid antigen test is allowed up to 72 hours.
“If in transit, and the validity of the RT-PCR or rapid antigen test result lapses, concerned persons shall be required to take an antigen test upon their arrival in Cebu at the expense of the holder of said test result,” the order states.
The provincial government, which has on several occasions, been in conflict with the national government over its more relaxed pandemic-related policies in consideration of economic recovery, said the test result requirement is intended to address the increasing number of COVID-19 cases attributed to the more transmissible Delta variant.
As of Aug. 16, the Department of Health data show the province had 5,161 active cases out of the 26,448 recorded since the start of the pandemic last year. Of the total, 20,062 have recovered while 1,225 died.
The COVID-19 case count in Cebu province does include data from the independent cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue. Active cases in these cities were at 4,099 for Cebu, 1,731 in Lapu-Lapu, and 1,759 in Mandaue.
The entire Central Visayas Region, which also covers the provinces of Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor, had 14,948 active cases as of Aug. 16 — MSJ