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This Week in Cebu and Bohol (February 6 to 12, 2022)

Bohol and Cebu provinces are under Alert Level 3 until February 15.

By: Mira Maestrecampo | February 06, 2022
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The whole province of Bohol and Cebu is still under Alert Level 3 until February 15, and active cases have inconsistent waves of declines and increase. Bohol and Cebu are also preparing for the anticipated arrivals of foreign tourists since the country is now opening its borders to foreign travelers.

Vaccination registration for children in Cebu is rolling out, and more vaccination sites are planning to be opened in terminals, airports, and local pharmacies. The quarantine and isolation period has also been updated.

Quarantine Updates

Bohol, Cebu under Alert Level 3

The entire province of Bohol and Cebu, including Cebu City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, is placed under Alert Level 3 until February 15, as implemented by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID). Neighboring areas in Central Visayas are also under Alert Level 3, including Siquijor and Negros Oriental.

Under Alert Level 3, intrazonal and interzonal travels in Bohol and Cebu are to be subjected to reasonable restrictions imposed by the local government units (LGUs) and under the jurisdiction of the IATF. [1]

Minors and individuals such as senior citizens and persons with comorbidities or existing medical conditions can only go out for essential and work-related purposes.

Also, under Alert Level 3, Bohol and Cebu shall prohibit activities and establishments such as face-to-face classes in primary education, contact sports, funfairs, karaoke bars, clubs, theaters, casinos, horse racing, cockfighting, operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments. However, activities permitted by the IATF or the Office of the President and gatherings where participating individuals are not in the same household are allowed.

On the other hand, establishments and activities such as cinemas, meetings, conferences, and exhibitions, social events, tourist attractions, libraries, recreational venues, amusement parks, religious gatherings, licensure exams, dine-in services, personal care services, and fitness studios are only allowed at a 30% capacity for indoors, and only at 50% capacity for outdoors. [2]

OFWs to shoulder RT-PCR tests

All unvaccinated returning overseas Filipino workers who will arrive in Cebu shall shoulder the expenses for their two RT-PCR tests, which are for them to comply upon arrival. [3]

The amount payable would be PhP1,802 for the two tests, and the memorandum took effect last February 1. On the other hand, tests for OFWs or overseas Filipino workers are still free of charge.

Travel News

The Philippines now permits foreign entry

There are 157 countries classified as visa-free, including the USA, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, UK, Malaysia, and Singapore.

The tourists from these countries should comply with a valid passport and proof of vaccination. Proofs of vaccination accepted are from the following agencies: World Health Organization International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis, VaxCertPH, or national digital certificate of the foreign government which has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement unless otherwise permitted by the IATF-MEID. [4]

Meanwhile, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers should undergo mandatory quarantine and comply with the Bureau of Quarantine and LGU’s mandatory health protocols.

Bohol imposes a strict vaccination policy.

On the other hand, Bohol imposed a no-vaccination, no-entry policy implemented in Bohol Panglao International Airport. The said policy applies to all the airport’s employees and passengers, following Bohol’s Alert Level 3 status.

Individuals who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must present a negative RT-PCR test result to enter the airport premises.

The no vaccination, no entry policy is set to continue to take effect as long as Bohol is classified under Alert Level 3, as ordered by the Department of Transportation, says BPIA Assistant Airport Manager Angelo Ibañez. The policy might be enacted once Bohol shifts to lower alert level status. [5]

Bohol and Cebu prepare to welcome tourists.

Bohol and Cebu are also getting ready to accept tourists. Recently, the national government announced that fully vaccinated foreign travelers coming from non-visa-required areas can now enter the country for business and tourism grounds and purposes, which will take effect on February 10.

These foreign individuals entering the country will only need to present a valid passport, return ticket bound to their country of origin, and proof of vaccination duly verified by the IATF. They must also show a negative RT-PCR test result, taken 48 hours before their departure from the point of origin.

Once they have arrived in the country, they no longer need to comply with the facility quarantine. However, they should still observe themselves and monitor possible symptoms within seven days of arrival. Upon showing symptoms or any signs, foreign travelers are required to contact the respective local government unit of their destination.

Nograles also noted that starting February 16, fully vaccinated international travelers will be allowed to enter the country. [6]

Alfred Reyes, President of the Hotel, Resort, and Restaurant Association of Cebu, expresses his agreement to the government’s action on opening the country’s borders to fully vaccinated foreigners since this would open avenues for improving tourism and business opportunities. Reyes says they would expect more flights and visits in Cebu since tourists no longer require mandatory quarantine. [7]

Bohol’s representative Federico Carmona says that foreign tourists have significant importance and help contribute to the revival of Bohol and Central Visayas’ tourism industry. [8]

Vaccination News

More vaccination sites eyed to open in Cebu

In Cebu, the Cebu South Bus Terminal is ready to make the Cebu terminal a vaccination area provided that there will be approval from Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

Authorized government sectors had a meeting to establish a vaccination site in Cebu terminals. Quijano said that the terminal could accommodate individuals and Cebuanos since there are a few passengers in the terminals because of the pandemic restrictions. [9]

However, minor repairs are needed for the terminals due to the damage caused by the recent typhoon Odette.

The Mactan Cebu International Airport and North Bus Terminal in Mandaue, Cebu, are also eyed to be areas for vaccination sites to increase and ramp up vaccination among Cebuanos.

Aside from terminals aiding vaccination, authorized sectors are also eyeing the possibility of opening vaccination sites in pharmacies to add more options for the public to get their vaccination and reach the target herd immunity.

Administering vaccination in pharmacies and clinics is part of the Resbakuna sa Botika government drive to vaccinate more individuals. The Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH 7) is still waiting for the official guidelines and implementing the said vaccination program.

Currently, vaccination is available in Cebu’s malls, schools, gymnasiums, hotels, Noah Complex, and outside the Cebu City Hall. [10]

While Cebu terminals and pharmacies welcome the aid of creating more vaccination sites, Cebu City’s indoor establishments impose a no vaccination no entry policy. Cebuanos who are unvaccinated are not allowed to enter indoor facilities, while those who are fully vaccinated can. Cebuanos will have to present their vaccination cards to enter establishments’ indoor premises.

Vaccination registration for children starts in Cebu.

As for minors and children, parents or guardians can now register their children aged 5 to 11 years old for vaccination through to assure a slot for the vaccination of their children. The process of vaccination registration is the same for minors aged 12 to 17 years old. Still, in this case, parents should specify the age between 5 to 11 years old since they would receive a different vaccination dosage from the older children age group.

A birth or baptismal certificate can be presented without identification cards. Parents are also advised to bring necessary documents upon vaccination: identification cards of both the parent and the child. If there are no parents around, legal guardians must show a special power of attorney to prove the legitimacy of making decisions for the child.

Early vaccine registration is encouraged, and the Cebu City government shall announce the start of vaccination once vaccine supplies become available. Once the vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 starts, Cebu City plans to open up more vaccination sites. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama instructed the Cebu City Health Department to prepare the necessary coordination with the Philippine Pediatric Society in Cebu. Such preparations include getting more medical workforce, health volunteers, and pediatricians in the vaccination sites.

Health Updates

COVID-19 cases in Cebu and Bohol

Individuals experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms are urged to self-isolate at home, as the local health office will help provide the medical kits.

Mayor Rama said in an interview that the Cebu City government encourages public and private hospitals not to admit patients with mild cases. Rama also said that he works with the government sectors of Cebu province, Mandaue City, and Lapu-Lapu City to create available monitoring facilities and aid temporary treatment to address these cases.

Another health update would be the revised isolation and quarantine period, as announced by Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera. For patients with critical cases, isolation would be for 21 days regardless of vaccination status and not need a second test. As for the fully vaccinated and immunocompromised individuals, isolation shall last for 21 days upon the onset of symptoms. In contrast, immunocompromised patients who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated are required to present a negative RT-PCRT test result after 21 days of isolation.

As for fully vaccinated patients with moderate cases, they would need to be isolated for ten days, and the same goes with partially vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.

For mild and asymptomatic patients, isolation for the fully vaccinated is seven days. The isolation for the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated is ten days.

The updated quarantine period for the asymptomatic close contacts who are fully vaccinated would be five days from the date of exposure. It is 14 days for the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated. [11] Cebu has also noticed a decline in active cases as of January 31. [12] However, authorities are still reminding the public to be cautious and not complacent with the situation, especially with the presence of the Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, Tagbilaran City leads on active cases in Bohol as of writing, with 325 new cases, as of the end of January. Next would be Dauis, Bohol with 61 new cases, after which would be Baclayon with 45 new cases. [13]

It is also recorded that Bohol has reached the resurgence of active cases with 1,084, reaching a thousandth, according to Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force. [14]

Visit Yoorekka Magazine for more travel and COVID-19 updates and guidelines in Cebu and Bohol!

All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. However, while we are making our utmost effort to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the condition surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable, and the situation develops rapidly. Hence, some information and recommendations may have changed since this article was published. For the latest advice, visit DOH and your LGU's official websites.


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About Mira Maestrecampo
Mira - with a long surname - is a girl who dreams of becoming a news anchor someday, in God's perfect time. She loves to read books and eat different kinds of cheesy or saucy food. A coffee addict and a dog lover, she loves long hugs, hot coffee on an afternoon break with friends, or simply sleeping all day with her stuffed unicorns.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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