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Cebu Pacific commercially launches antigen test before boarding

  • Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific has commercially launched its Test Before Boarding (TBB) process for passengers flying from Manila after conducting a pilot run with the local government of General Santos
  • Cebu Pacific’s antigen test costs P700, the lowest rate in the industry
  • The TBB testing facility at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 is now open for walk-ins from 2 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
  • Cebu Pacific also offers RT-PCR test for P3,300 for those traveling to local and international destinations that require negative RT-PCR test results prior to entry

Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific has commercially launched its Test Before Boarding (TBB) process for passengers flying from Manila after conducting its pilot run with the local government of General Santos.

TBB requires Cebu Pacific passengers to undergo antigen test just hours before the scheduled time of departure, with results released within 30 minutes. On December 3, Cebu Pacific started the pilot run of its TBB for passengers from Manila bound to General Santos

READ: Cebu Pacific sets pilot antigen test for GenSan travelers

In a statement, Cebu Pacific said it offers its antigen test for P700, the lowest rate in the industry.

The TBB testing facility at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 is now open for walk-ins from 2 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

Cebu Pacific passengers have to register onsite and pay the fee directly to the airline’s diagnostic partner, Philippine Airport Diagnostic Laboratory (PADL).

Throughout the pilot run which started on December 3, Cebu Pacific tested a total of 1,143 passengers, three of whom tested positive and were not allowed to proceed with their flight.

Only those who tested negative were allowed to board the aircraft. Subsequently, based on the data provided by the local government of General Santos, passengers were retested after their seven-day quarantine and results were still negative, showing consistency with the earlier results of the TBB process.

“Following the successful TBB pilot, Cebu Pacific is ready to offer this option to all their passengers. We are urging everyjuan to take advantage of this convenient alternative, especially since the testing site is strategically located at the airport, making the whole process easy and hassle-free for our residents,” General Santos mayor Ronnel Rivera said.

Apart from General Santos, the local governments of Butuan, Dipolog, and Pagadian also accept negative antigen test results as a pre-travel requirement.

Cebu Pacific passengers going to these destinations may also avail of the TBB beginning December 18.

Department of Health rules as of October 6 allow the use of rapid antigen testing as an alternative to real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction testing (RT-PCR) tests for suspected COVID-19 cases, including symptomatic and asymptomatic close contacts who fit the definition.

Antigen tests may also be used for probable cases in a community or hospital setting with insufficient PCR testing capacity, places where a quick turnaround time is needed for patients, or during incidents of a community outbreak “for quicker case finding.”

To date, a number of local and international destinations require negative RT-PCR test results prior to entry. As such, Cebu Pacific is also offering RT-PCR tests for only P3,300 via its three partner laboratories, namely PADL, Health Metrics, Inc., and Safeguard DNA Diagnostics Inc.

Passengers booked on Cebu Pacific and Cebgo can choose and book appointments via https://bit.ly/CEBFlightReminders.

“We remain committed to making flights affordable for everyJuan and seeing that testing is required by a number of destinations at the moment, we have partnered with accredited laboratories that may offer affordable testing options. We look forward to the day trust and confidence in air travel have been restored, but until then, let us all work together towards that,” Cebu Pacific vice president for Marketing and Customer Experience Candice Iyog said.

Domestic tourists may also avail of a subsidized RT-PCR test at the UP Philippine General Hospital, wherein 50% of the original cost will be subsidized by the Department of Tourism through the Tourism Promotions Board, leaving only P900 to be paid for by the passenger. Those who wish to apply for this must register five days before their trip via www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel.

Cebu Pacific said TBB is just one initiative in its multi-layered approach to safety. These include extensive daily disinfection of aircraft, High Efficiency Particulate Air filters on board that can filter out 99.99% of viruses, frequent cleaning of passenger surfaces at the airport and inflight, and enhanced self-service online portals so travelers can easily manage their flights.

Strict contactless flight procedures are also in place, such as boarding pass scanning, required online check-in and self-bag tag capabilities.

Cebu Pacific currently operates flights to destinations such as Boracay, Bohol, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Iloilo and Palawan. It also operates flights to six international destinations including Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Dubai.

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