Cebu to allow entry of foreign nationals regardless of vaccination status

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 9)— The province of Cebu is set to reopen its doors to foreign nationals regardless of their vaccination status.

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia on Wednesday issued an executive order allowing the entry of tourists even if they are unvaccinated, beginning on March 1.

Under the directive, foreign nationals who have yet to get their COVID-19 shots shall be subject to three requirements:

— they should present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin;

— they should be swabbed upon arrival at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport;

— they should undergo a facility-based quarantine until the release of their second RT-PCR test result taken on the fifth day

“Unvaccinated foreign nationals are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated during their stay in Cebu. The single dose Janssen vaccine shall be made available by the Department of Health (DOH) for unvaccinated foreign nationals,” Garcia wrote in her order.

It remains unclear if the government will shoulder the inoculation expenses. In a separate text message, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Visayas Vaccination Operations Center, said this was still being discussed with the regional DOH.

The Cebu province’s move, however, is contrary to the Inter-Agency Task Force’s resolution which only allows the entry of foreigners who are fully vaccinated.

READ: PH reopens for tourism, business travel to fully vaxxed from non-visa required countries starting Feb. 10

CNN Philippines has reached out to the DOH for comment on the matter.

Stringer Dale Israel contributed to this report.