Swab test available but not mandatory at Cebu airport

By Carlo Lorenciana

August 31, 2020, 7:34 pm

<p>The Mactan-Cebu International Airport <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (PNA file photo)

CEBU CITY – The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) has announced that its dedicated coronavirus disease or Covid-19 RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) testing facility is now available for departing passengers.

The GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) however, clarified in an advisory on Aug. 30 that the RT-PCR swab testing is not mandatory for departing passengers at MCIA.

“This service is offered to provide convenience to departing passengers whose intended destinations require a PCR swab test result for entry,” the company said.

Test results are emailed to the passenger within 48 hours.

While RT-PCR swab testing can be done at any Department of Health-approved facility, passengers are advised to check if the facility is approved by their intended destination.

The MCIA RT-PCR testing laboratory is an approved facility of all countries with current operating flights out of MCIA.

Some foreign countries require passengers traveling from certain countries like the Philippines to obtain a negative RT-PCR test before being allowed to check-in, such as the United Arab Emirates. There are also some countries that offer testing facilities upon arrival.

Currently, there are also a few local government units (LGUs) within the Philippines that require negative Covid-19 certification prior to travel. Some LGUs accept rapid testing while others require RT-PCR testing.

As a standard procedure, passengers must check the specific travel requirements and protocols of their destination before their departure.

MCIA’s outbound passenger testing facility is located at the Terminal 2 Arrivals area and is open daily from 7-11 a.m. The cut-off time, however, is 10:15 a.m. The cost of the swab test is PHP5,000.

Starting Sept. 3, 2020, all departing passengers must register online via the MCIA Outbound Passenger Registration Form (https://mactancebuairport.com/covid-19-registration-departure/) at least two days prior to the planned testing date. Walk-ins will not be entertained.

All departing passengers taking the swab test must bring the necessary documents such as a Travel Reference Number (TRN) and barcode sent to their email and are advised to keep these information until they receive their test results; airline ticket: and prepayment confirmation, if the swab test is prepaid.

Once at the facility, passengers need to present their TRN, barcode and airline ticket prior to entry and get a thermal check; proceed to the validation counter for identity verification and payment; claim two barcodes which should be kept throughout the test procedure from the attending personnel; and proceed to the waiting area.

Before the swab testing, the passenger must submit one barcode to the attending swabber.

Once swab test is done, passengers may leave the premises of the testing facility. Test results are available within 36-48 hours and will be sent to the e-mail address provided during the online registration.

All departing passengers taking the swab test must follow the health and safety protocols while on airport premises, the GMCAC said.

Pre-payment is encouraged to facilitate smooth process on the day of the scheduled swab testing. It can be done through bank transfer/deposit or money remittance centers. Cash and credit cards payments are accepted.

“All departing passengers are reminded to monitor the status of their flights and comply with the documentary requirements and regulations mandated by the government of their point of origin and their destination,” the GMCAC said. (PNA)