Airlines to comply with LGU travel requirements

July 10, 2021 Itchie G. Cabayan 170 views

CEBU Pacific (CEB) issued an assurance that it will comply with the health protocols set by the government, including RT-PCR test results for fully-vaccinated passengers, should it be required by the local government units (LGUs).

AirAsia, for its part, expressed support to the Department of Health’s (DOH) initiative to establish a more stringent procedure in verifying the validity of the vaccine documents presented by fully-vaccinated travelers who are doing intrazonal travel for tourism, business and other purposes.

A passenger is considered fully-vaccinated at least 14 days after having received the second dose in a two-dose series, or at least 14 days after having received a single-dose vaccine.

CEB said among its destinations, those that are accepting vaccination cards as a travel requirement are Negros Occidental (except Bacolod City), Cauayan City of Isabela province, Cotabato, Tacloban and Virac.

Virac requires fully-vaccinated individuals to upload their COVID-19 vaccination card on their S-PASS account three days before their scheduled trip to secure an Approved Travel Coordination Permit. The approved permit and vaccination card will be presented upon check-in.

Surigao and Siargao have recalled their previous order and now require RT-PCR tests from all passengers, even from a fully-vaccinated traveler, after the DOH said the protocol remains in effect while the LGUs and the Inter-Agency Task Force review travel guidelines.

Travelers are strongly urged to always check with the LGU of their destination for the latest updates.

“This is a developing situation. We will provide updates as soon as they become available. Fly safely, travel responsibly for #MoreSmilesAhead,” CEB said in a statement.

Meanwhile, AirAsia backs DOH efforts to have stringent verification procedures for vaccine documents.

The DOH has recently given LGUs the authority to determine travel requirements for entry into their jurisdictions.

“AirAsia believes that the ‘green lane’ for fully vaccinated individuals will encourage more leisure travelers who have previously expressed concerns on varying requirements per destination. This will save them time and money in securing testing requirements,” AirAsia Philippines spokesperson Steve Dailisan said.

“The recent pronouncement which allows fully vaccinated individuals to present vaccination cards in lieu of testing requirements positively stirred the booking behavior of the public. While we strongly support the easing of restrictions among fully vaccinated individuals as key to rebooting tourism, there must be no room for complacency. Forward looking, there should be a system in place to verify the accuracy of the vaccination cards,” he added.

Of the 11 AirAsia domestic destinations, Cebu province, Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City no longer require testing for entry via Mactan Airport.

“In view of safety, we also want to make an appeal to all our guests to submit only genuine documents. Industry partners and all stakeholders should also take a proactive role in ensuring that established health and safety protocols are strictly observed,” Dailisan said.

The DOH earlier expressed concerns on possible proliferation of fake vaccine cards.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology is now working on measures to validate and authenticate the vaccination cards.

To date, more than 9 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the country, with over 3 million Filipinos having received their second dose of the vaccine, according to the most recent report from DOH.

Inoculation of tourism workers has also started in various island destinations such as Panglao and Boracay.

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