Traveling to Cebu in Times of COVID

Men cross the street at the Osmeña Boulevard

You can now travel to Cebu, though with several health protocols.

Just like you, we’ve had a tough year. Surgical masks and face shields have become strict requirements, disinfectant alcohol is now more important than ever, and buying delicious meals from our favorite restaurants is now done mostly through online delivery services. Cabin fever has plagued us all year, but traveling to Cebu is becoming more bearable for us under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

Once holding the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, Cebu City is now considered a low risk area for the coronavirus, as reported by several Philippine newspapers. This makes the entire city of Cebu a more relaxed place to go to, even if there are multiple protocols that have been put in place.

Welcome sign at the Osmeña Boulevard

Tourism in Cebu is beginning to become more lenient, with lower cases of COVID 19.

Tourism

The Philippine tourism industry in Cebu island is opening multiple doors that were affected by the pandemic. Many more places are also accepting tourists and travelers to their famous establishments.

You can go to more beaches and churches, but don’t expect the same flock of people on a busy day. Remember to always have your face mask on and bring any needed identification to get inside.

Other notable Philippine tourism spots like Fort San Pedro are open once again. However, you aren’t allowed to visit popular public nature parks like the Plaza Independencia and the Fuente Osmeña Circle.

For recreational activities, Anjo World in Minglanilla, Cebu is open, but only on weekends. Expect strict protocols such as temperature checks and fewer customers. Hand sanitizing stations can be found around the park, and cleaning teams are placed to disinfect common areas.

Another Cebu tourist spot, The Cebu Safari in Carmen, is also open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but you should get there early since they won’t be selling tickets past 1:30 in the afternoon.

Biker passing by Fuente

Bikes have become a more popular form of transportation throughout the city.

Transportation

You can book a flight to Cebu during these times, but expect strict health checks at Cebu airport. You will have to be tested there, and maybe self-quarantine yourself for two weeks at a hotel when you arrive.

There are now more options for you to get to Cebu City. Buses are convenient with an air conditioning unit and comfortable seats. Some routes are longer, though. Bring a book or prepare your favorite playlists when you get in one.

You can easily find a taxi along the streets of most barangays. You can get to your destination faster, but travel passes will be checked when you pass the quarantine checkpoints.

Traditional jeeps are only allowed to run in areas with lesser active cases like Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue. These vehicles also have to follow health protocols, so expect plastic covers to be placed inside in order to follow through with social distancing.

You can use private vehicles, especially since the number coding system has already been lifted. However, you will also need to present your travel certificate.

More people use bikes now since public transport is sparse. Local government units have set up bike lanes for bikers to use in traversing the streets.

Food court in a mall

The SM Cebu City mall has set up a takeout area for those who want to sit down and eat.

Business

You can expect more people in malls in the upcoming days. They are now opening other stores after opening only the essential services like groceries.

You can go to malls to buy or have gadgets fixed. You can even go to boutiques and buy new clothes. You might also want to go there because some shops have sales despite the lesser number of people visiting.

Dining in restaurants and fast food chains is now allowed. Previously, only deliveries and take outs were observed. Not all establishments are open, though, so you might have to go for alternatives if your favorite stores remain closed.

SM Malls have set up different takeout areas. You can sit down in any of these areas after ordering food, especially since most eateries will only be operating at half capacity.

You can’t party all night at a club since they aren’t allowed, but the liquor ban has been lifted. You can buy alcohol in places like convenience stores and grocery shops, but drinking them must be done at home.

It’s still discouraged to go outside and loiter around, but there are more things that you can do during these times.

Events

Buying your essentials and going to work are among the more important reasons why you go out. Mass gatherings are still not allowed, so don’t expect to be coming to Cebu for a concert or launching.

There are also many online events that you can take part in so you always know what to do during quarantine.

Cebu has always been known as a tourist attraction. For several months, however, what the island was known for became stagnant. You couldn’t even enter the country, let alone a small island found in the middle of the archipelago. Restrictions aside, it is indeed a breath of fresh air knowing that after several months, we can finally experience the best that Cebu has to offer.

Traveling to Cebu during the pandemic needs compromise. There are several requirements needed, multiple tests are to be done, and choices are limited. You won’t expect huge crowds, big parties, or social events, but there’s still something to experience within the island regardless of what you came for.

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