AMID threats from the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 in the Philippines, the Davao City Government is not keen on reimposing the “test before travel” policy for arriving domestic air passengers.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio bared this in a radio interview Monday, December 6.

"With regard to domestic travel, wala gihapon na siya nga requirement. Wala'y anything nga requirement (we have no RT-PCR test requirement or anything similar))," Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

She said the city will only reimpose it at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport) once it will be stipulated under the guidelines provided by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

"Whatever it is na guide nga ginahatag sa (the guide provided by) IATF, mao kana atong ginusod (we will abide by it)," Duterte-Carpio said.

The City Government discontinued the mandatory reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results to all travelers entering the city effective November 16, 2021.

This came after the city was downgraded to Alert Level 2, brought about by the continuing downtrend of Covid-19 cases.

The “test before travel” policy, however, will still apply to all arriving international flight passengers at the Davao Airport, regardless of country of origin, as also mandated by IATF.

This is in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant, which according to health experts is a stronger strain of the Covid-19 virus compared to the Delta variant.

“Whether 'green', 'red', or 'yellow' list, tanan international arriving passengers, duna na silay test before travel requirements. That is what we follow,” Duterte-Carpio said.

The IATF has placed South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique along with Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy under the Red List effective November 28, 2021, until December 15, 2021. This means that those under the Red List countries/jurisdictions/territories shall not be allowed entry to any port in the Philippines.

Returning Filipinos through government-initiated or non-government-initiated repatriation and Bayanihan Flights may be allowed entry subject to the prevailing entry, testing, and quarantine protocols for Red List countries.

Testing and quarantine protocols for all inbound international travelers under the "Yellow" list will have to undergo testing and quarantine protocols in all ports of entry in the country while testing and quarantine protocols for those coming from "Green" countries have been temporarily suspended until December 15, 2021.

The mandatory test before travel is currently being implemented at the Davao International Airport, where arriving international flight passengers must present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result taken within 72 hours of the flight schedule.

Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio said the test, trace, and treat strategies will still be the same response of the city.

She also said the city is also ramping up the inoculation of the booster shots and the preparation for the establishment of the oxygen, in anticipation of a possible surge of Covid-19 cases.