ZAMBOANGA City’s health office conducts free rapid antigen testing at the international airport and other entry points for travelers on a voluntary basis. — ZAMBOANGA CHO JMANGILA

ZAMBOANGA City will again require a negative RT-PCR test result starting January 12 from inbound travelers coming from areas under a coronavirus alert level higher than that of the city, which is currently at level 2.

The city government, in a statement over the weekend, said the local task force handling the pandemic response decided to reimpose the requirement to help avert the spread of the Omicron variant.

The rule applies regardless of a person’s vaccination status. It will be in effect at ports and land borders.  

For those coming from areas under the same or lower alert level, no test result is required but “may be subjected to random antigen testing upon entry through the airport, seaport or land border,” the local government said.  

Zamboanga City, a main gateway and commercial hub in southwestern Mindanao, has been conducting free rapid antigen testing at entry points for travelers on a voluntary basis.

The city had 178 active coronavirus cases as of Jan. 8 out of the total 24,175, based on Department of Health data. There were 671 deaths and 23,326 recoveries. — MSJ