DILG eyes removal of COVID-19 test as travel requirement

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2021 07:49 AM

A resident wearing a face mask walk along a beach in Borocay on Thursday, the first day of the opening of the island to tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic. AFP/file

MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government said Tuesday it is considering a proposal to remove COVID-19 testing as a requirement for travel.

The DILG and the Department of Tourism earlier said it was working to streamline travel rules in tourist destinations to boost tourism.

Among these are the removal of coronavirus testing, the issuance of travel authority and city health certificate, said DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing.

Travelers will instead be required to undergo clinical testing at the terminal of origin and terminal of destination, he said.

"Tinitingnan rin namin ang posibilidad na wala na tayong testing," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo, adding that those who only need to undergo swabbing are people who are symptomatic, those who do have the virus, or those who came in contact with COVID-19 patients.

(We're also eyeing the possibility of not including testing.)

"Kung ikaw ay walang ganung klaseng exposure, hindi po mandated talaga ang 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."

(If you don't have exposure, you're not really mandated to undergo testing. Our epidemiologists say that as you observe minimum health standards, 95 percent you won't contract the disease or infect anyone.)

Cebu has already implemented this, Densing said. The province will no longer require domestic tourists to show a negative COVID-19 test, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said in an executive order issued Monday.

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