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Cebu City Lifts COVID-19 Tests for Fully Vaccinated Tourists

An overlooking view of the buildings in Cebu City, from the mountain barangay of Busay.

It seems that entering Cebu City won’t be much of a hassle if you have already gotten two jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Cebu City government announced that fully vaccinated domestic travelers will only need to present a valid ID and their vaccination card to enter the different ports in the city.

This means that the previously required negative result on different COVID-19 tests, like real-time polymerase reaction (RT-PCR), swab, or saliva test will no longer be needed.

This lessens the burden of travelers who want to enter the Queen City of the South despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This may lead to the reopening of tourism in Cebu as more travelers are allowed to enter the island, and more tourist spots are expected to open for them to visit.

Partially or non-vaccinated travelers, however, must present a negative test result for either a RT-PCR test taken 72 hours before departure, an antigen test 48 hours before departure, and a saliva test 48 hours before departure.

This was made possible since the cases in Cebu have steadily dropped, recently recording a 2.35% daily positivity rate, which is well below the 5% positivity threshold for areas with manageable COVID situations set by the World Health Organization (WHO).


The city is currently under Alert Level 2, which allows businesses to reopen under 50% capacity. This means that there will soon be more things to do in Cebu after several establishments closed down for a year to prevent the spread of the virus.

More recreational areas like karaoke bars and amusement parks will be allowed to open. Indoor venues may increase their operational capacity to 50%, while outdoor venues may be allowed to operate at 70% capacity.

Here is a list of businesses that are partially open under Alert Level 2:

  • Amusement parks
  • Internet cafés
  • Arcades
  • Bowling alleys
  • Skating rinks
  • Archery halls
  • Swimming pools
  • Movie houses
  • Venues for contact sports (must be approved by the local government)
  • Playgrounds, playrooms, and kiddie rides
  • Karaoke bars
  • Clubs
  • Concert halls

This will definitely welcome more travelers, which will help boost the economy of Cebu City, especially since tourism is a big factor in the city financially.

Also, several Cebu City malls like Ayala Center Cebu, Ayala Central Bloc at IT Park, and SM Seaside City are now allowed to open their cinemas as long as they follow health protocols.


Despite the city opening to make traveling to the Philippines a little easier, there is still a need to follow protocols. There are still a few cases of the virus around the city, so it is important to be careful and practice social distancing.

When staying in your hotel, make sure that you are disinfected and keep enough essential supplies such as alcohol, face masks, and face shields for when you want to leave the room.

Public transportation is much easier now with jeepneys, both traditional and modern, as well as buses and taxis. Watch out for drivers who don’t follow social distancing inside their vehicle and be careful where you are seated.

Most restaurants also allow dine-ins, but you must present your vaccination card. In fact, there are some restaurants that will give you a 10% discount if you present your vaccination card when ordering your meal.

Traveling to the Philippines has been a drag because of all the protocols put in place, but this new development may soon spark a larger return of its tourism industry.

As Cebu City is one of the most popular places to visit in the country, there are more chances for you to explore its beauty, even if there are protocols needed to ensure everyone’s safety.

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