MANILA — The whole Philippines will follow uniform rules on COVID-19, Malacañang said on Thursday, as Cebu officials defended the province's own protocols for the testing and quarantine of travelers from abroad.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered inbound travelers to stay at a quarantine facility for 10 days and get tested for the novel coronavirus on the seventh day of their quarantine. If test results are negative, they are released and directed to stay at home for another 4 days, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
"There will be one uniform policy for the entire Philippines because of the common danger posed by the Delta variant," he said in a press briefing.
The Cebu provincial government continues to test travelers for COVID-19 upon arrival and on the seventh day, as it would be more expensive to keep them quarantined in a hotel facility for 10 days, a local health official said on Wednesday.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has asked the national COVID-19 task force to allow her province to implement its own quarantine protocols limited to its residents returning from abroad.
The Department of Health however has said uniform border controls are needed to keep out the more infectious Delta COVID-19 variant first detected in India, where it unleashed a catastrophic wave of coronavirus infections.
The Philippines has detected at least 17 cases of the Delta variant.