The Department of Tourism (DOT) has no qualms as far as Cebu’s decision to drop the swab test requirement for incoming tourists is concerned.
In a statement on Tuesday, Feb. 23, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the Department “fully recognizes the prerogative of our local chief executives in deciding what protocols will best suit their particular situations.”
This was after the Cebu provincial government announced that it is no longer requiring swab test results for domestic tourists entering the province to “help revive the economy that has regressed due to COVID-19 pandemic.”
Under Executive Order No. 12 issued by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia last Monday, Feb. 22, tourists traveling to the province “will be allowed entry by presenting a valid medical certificate which shall be the only requirement for the purchase of a ticket for travel via air, land, or sea.”
For the part of the DOT, Puyat said that they are for the safe reopening of tourist destinations as this allows the country to restart the economy and help tourism workers regain their jobs.
However, the DOT chief urged the public to continue observing minimum health and safety protocols to “protect the tourists, tourism workers, and the host communities.”
“We remind our tourists and stakeholders of the need to still strictly ensure minimum health and safety protocols such as wearing of a mask and face shield, physical distancing, hand sanitizing, and booking or operating in DOT-accredited establishments,” she emphasized.