DILG mulling removal of COVID tests from travel requirements list

Published February 23, 2021, 10:42 AM

by Chito Chavez

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is studying the possibility of doing away with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests as a requirement for travelers.


DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III in an interview over ABS-CBN Tuesday, Feb. 23 said that travelers would instead be required to undergo clinical testing at the terminal of origin and terminal of destination.

In looking at the possibility of being less strict with COVID-19 tests, Densing noted that those who would still be required to undergo swabbing are individuals who show symptoms of the virus or had contact with COVID-19 infected patients.

But if an individual is free from these exposures, then there will be no need for COVID-19 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 (Our epidemiologists said that as long as the minimum health standards are observed, there is a 95 percent chance that you won’t contact the disease or infect others),’’ Densing said.

On Feb. 22, the DILG and the Department of Tourism (DOT) disclosed that they are working to streamline travel rules in tourist destinations in a bid to boost tourism.

Densing said that among the uniform travel rules being considered are the removal of COVID-19 testing as well as the issuance of travel authority and city health certificate. 

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia noted that negative COVID-19 test results will no longer be required for domestic tourists entering the province.