LGUs oppose lifting of travel protocols

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GOVERNORS and mayors don’t seem amenable to the removal and easing of several health protocols and requirements for travelers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a radio interview, League of Provinces of the Philippines president and Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr. said most LGUs are favoring retaining Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 test as a requirement for travelers.

“Karamihan po ay hindi. Meron pong ilan na puwede na pong tanggalin. Pero karamihan po gustong i-impose yun, ‘yung RT-PCR na pre-travel requirement. Yung iba naman po gustong gamitin, mag-impose upon arrival mismo ‘yung PCR test, provided may laboratoryo na po doon ‘yung LGU of destination kaya kailangan mabilis ang resulta,” Velasco said.

Under the recent Resolution No. 101 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, travelers do not need to undergo testing unless required by the LGU prior to travel.

Velasco, who also chairs the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), urged the national task force against COVID-19 to allow antigen testing, citing its cost and quick results.

The IATF resolution likewise shelved the need for travel authority, health certificates and mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival of travelers – unless one shows symptoms upon arrival at the destination.

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