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International flights to Cebu diverted to NAIA; cargo exempt from new order

  • All international flights bound for Mactan-Cebu International Airport will be diverted to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from May 29 to June 5
  • Excluded from the diversion are domestic flights, incoming and outgoing cargo flights, and departing commercial international flights
  • In a May 27 memo, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea also ordered the Department of Transportation and Manila International Airport Authority to ensure the smooth diversion of inbound flights to NAIA
  • The current Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases testing protocols for inbound international travelers must be enforced in all ports of entry, regardless of any specific local government unit protocols to the contrary

All international flights bound for Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) will be diverted to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from May 29 to June 5, as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

This came after the Cebu provincial government insisted the airport implement its own testing and quarantine protocols, which are different from IATF’s protocols.

In a memo dated May 27, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea also ordered the Department of Transportation, through its attached agencies, and Manila International Airport Authority to ensure the smooth diversion of inbound flights.

The current testing and testing protocols approved and issued by the IATF applicable to inbound international travelers should also be enforced in all ports of entry, regardless of any specific protocols that may be issued by local government units (LGU) to the contrary.

Heads of departments should ensure all offices and instrumentalities under or attached to their departments abide by the directive, while the Department of Interior and Local Government should enforce compliance by LGUs.

In a public advisory on May 27, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority said flights not included in the diversion order include domestic flights, incoming and outgoing cargo flights, and departing commercial international flights.

All affected passengers are advised to immediately coordinate with their respective airlines.

The memo came after the Cebu provincial government’s insistence that MCIA follow its own testing and quarantine protocols, which differ from the IATF-issued protocols.

On May 10, the Cebu provincial government issued an ordinance easing travel restrictions for all inbound travelers to the province.

Under the ordinance, returning overseas Filipino workers and non-OFWs from abroad will be swabbed upon arrival and subjected to a three-day hotel stay while waiting for a negative result. They will then be allowed to go home, subject to existing health protocols in their particular LGUs.

But under current IATF protocols, passengers arriving in Manila are required to undergo a minimum 10-day mandatory hotel quarantine and get swabbed on the seventh day. Passengers who test negative can continue their quarantine at home from the 10th to the 14th day.

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