14-day quarantine no longer mandatory for Cebu-bound OFWs, non-OFWs

Published March 31, 2021, 9:58 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and returning non-OFWs bound for Cebu will no longer have to undergo a 14-day quarantine if they found to be coronavirus disease (COVID 19)-free.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on March 30 issued Executive Order (EO) No. 17 shelving the mandatory quarantine.

Garcia issued the EO after meeting with officials from the Overseas Welfare Workers Administration (OWWA), Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), airline companies and representatives from tourism industry.

Garcia said dropping the mandatory quarantine will spare the OFWs and non-returning OFWs from financial burden.

“Requirement of quarantining an OFW and a returning non-OFW and swabbing them only on the 5th day after their arrival puts a heavy financial burden on the returning non-OFW and bludgeons the finance of OWWA that may very well be used other purposes,” Garcia said in her EO.

In the new guidelines, Filipino travelers from overseas will only be required to fill up the mandatory online Passenger Registration Form by the MCIA, undergo real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests upon arrival which shall also be free of charge, and pre-book hotel room where they will be waiting for their results.

“Upon release of a negative RT-PCR test result, they shall be allowed to go home. No other requirement shall be imposed by their Local Government Unit of destination under the Cebu Province in this regard,” read the EO.

“Should the RT- PCR test result turns out positive, health protocols for the treatment of COVID-19 positive individuals shall be followed,” added the EO.