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Why Dropping COVID Test for Local Travel Makes Sense, Says DILG

The DILG is meeting mayors and governors.
Just now
Photo/s: from Kalibo International Airport Facebook page

The Department of Interior and Local Government said it would meet mayors and governors on Tuesday to discuss common protocols for local travel, including a proposal to drop COVID-19 testing as a requirement.

It's backed by pandemic science, local travelers can skip testing if they show no symptoms or have not been exposed to COVID-19 patients. They should, however, wear face masks and face shields, wash their hands and observe physical distancing, said DILG Usec Epimaco Densing.

These minimum health standards, when observed, keep a person protected from infection or infecting others by 95%, Densing told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

Cebu province went ahead over the weekend, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia scrapped the test-before-travel requirement to support the recovery of tourism.


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The common travel protocols will govern land, air, and sea movement, Densing said, adding he was hoping to submit it to the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 by Thursday for implementation as early as March 1.

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"Tama kayo, may kalituhan," Densing said, referring to varying testing requirements. "Pero dahil meron tayong government o IATF policy na dahan-dahan tayong magbukas para makagalaw ang ating kababayan for purposes of tourism."

Two other requirements could be removed, according to Densing , travel authority issued by the police and the health certificate issued by the city or municipal hall.

In place of these, passengers will undergo health assessment on both points of departure and arrival, he said.

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