backarrow MCIA implement temporary travel ban for visitors from China and its Special Administrative Regions

February 02, 2020

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is now coordinating with relevant agencies in implementing the government-ordered temporary travel ban covering all travelers from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau as a precaution against the threat of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). China’s Hubei Province and the provincial capital of Wuhan City have been at the epicenter of the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), together with the Bureaus of Immigration and Quarantine, are working to ensure that all airlines operating direct international flights into Cebu from China, Hong Kong, and Macau are aware of the new directive and take appropriate action to minimize disruption to its inbound and outbound flights.

To align with the overall enforcement of the travel ban ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, GMCAC is coordinating with all airline operators, concerned airport community stakeholders, and even with the Manila International Airport Authority, operator of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Isolated Holding Area

The entry ban exempts Filipino citizens and permanent residents in the country but requires them to be quarantined for 14 days. In response, MCIA has already designated an isolated holding area for these passengers who are allowed to disembark. This holding facility is closed off to non-essential airport employees and is connected to a separate bus bay to ensure proper handling and transport of the quarantined passengers, in line with the required stringent quarantine procedures.

Precautionary Measures

More than a week ago, precautionary measures to control the potential spread and transmission of the novel coronavirus were already put in place by the Mactan-Cebu International Airport community. This adheres to MCIA's commitment to ensure the well-being of passengers and employees. These measures include the following:

  1. In-flight announcements

All airlines have been advised to make a standard in-flight announcement prior to landing at MCIA advising passengers experiencing flu-like symptoms to self-declare and voluntarily submit to a medical screening by the Bureau of Quarantine upon disembarkation.

  1. Intensified thermal scanning
    The Bureau of Quarantine is on heightened alert and has intensified monitoring of arriving passengers in MCIA by taking additional thermal scans of passenger body temperatures on select flights. This is in addition to the thermal scanning at the Immigration Arrival Level.
  2. Hand sanitization and air disinfection
    Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been installed in all aerobridges and arrival corridors with passengers being asked to use these facilities. Liquid disinfectant is sprayed in the aero-bridges prior to the arrival of each flight.
  3. Protective masks and gloves for airport front-liners
    All airport staff dealing with passengers upon immediate arrival have been directed to wear surgical masks and gloves as a precautionary measure. As the virus is currently understood to be transmitted through contaminated droplets, surgical masks and gloves also provide protection.
  4. Medical team stationed at the arrivals area
    A medical team is stationed at the arrivals area of Terminals 1 and 2 to provide information and advice to any passengers. The Bureau of Quarantine under the Department of Health will, however, maintain primary responsibility for dealing with suspected cases.
  5. Adequate information materials and announcements
    Information materials are displayed in prominent areas at Arrival and Departure to provide the passengers with ample information on the novel coronavirus. Announcements and reminders are made on a regular basis and running electronic messages are displayed around the airport. These messages are based on guidance material from the Department of Health and Bureau of Quarantine.

MCIA encourages affected passengers to get in touch with their respective airlines for updates on their flight schedules and information on how to avail of flight rebooking and/or other options. For other queries, passengers may call the MCIA trunk line at (032) 494-7000.