Under the new normal, travellers will now be asked to be at the different ports of Cebu at least two hours ahead of their scheduled departure.
Cebu Port Authority (CPA) General Manager Leonilo Miole said the early arrival of travels will give them enough time to comply with travel guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“CPA has put in place stringent preventive health and safety measures in our ports consistent with the guidelines set by the IATF and in preparation for the ‘new normal’. We are doing our best to establish and implement a complete safety loop for COVID-19 as we welcome passengers travelling to and from Cebu through our seaports,” Miole was quoted saying in an advisory that was posted on the CPA Facebook page.
Miole added that passengers will be required to present a medical certificate issued by their respective City/Municipal Health Office and Travel Authority issued by the Philippine National Police (PNP) before they will be allowed entry at Gate 1, the port’s main entrance.
The requirements are in addition to the boat ticket and valid identification card or any official documents that will also be required of them.
“This is to prevent terminal congestion given the required 50 percent capacity restrictions set by IATF and by the executive order issued by the City Government of Cebu. Also, we want to prevent our terminals from being used as sleeping quarters for stranded passengers waiting for complete processing of travel documents and/or arrival of their assigned vessels,” explained GM Miole.
Well-wishers, welcome parties, idle persons, and those with no legitimate business in the port will not be allowed entry into their premise, the advisory said.
CPA has authorized the resumption of operation of its port terminals to especially cater to locally stranded individuals, repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) after Cebu province was placed under general community quarantine (GCQ).
However, Miole said that travels will have to comply with modified port protocols for new normal “to augment government efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease.”
This means that passenger ships will only be allowed to travel carrying only 50 percent of its supposed capacity.
CPA is also implementing measures to prevent the spread of the infection at its passenger terminals. This includes:
• non-contact temperature check on all persons entering the primary gates and passenger terminal of the port.
• wearing of face masks at all times within the port premises, when boarding or disembarking from a vessel. Passengers shall be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) prior to boarding.
• disinfecting foot baths are placed at the entrance and exits of the passenger terminals and offices in the port. Sanitizing hand rub dispensers or lavatories for hand washing are placed in prominent places of the terminal.
• social distancing of at least one meter shall be observed at all times inside or outside of the passenger terminal, including during boarding and disembarking of passengers from a vessel.
• regular cleaning and disinfection of the terminals and shuttle buses, its seats, doorknobs, other surfaces, and surroundings of the port.
• terminals in both public or private ports shall only be allowed to accommodate 50 percent seating capacity and to prevent undue queuing or crowding of passengers
• full integration of terminal fee into the boat fare. No payment of terminal fees inside the passenger terminal shall be allowed.
• the operation of ticketing booths of shipping companies located outside port terminals or within a property owned or administered by CPA is temporarily suspended.
• only 50 percent of the total number of porters are allowed to render porterage services at one time. Porters belonging to a group for the different shipping companies are advised to adopt an alternate work schedule.
• CPA may allow direct boarding of passengers to the vessel as may be deemed necessary in order to avoid crowding, inconvenience or delay in the vessel’s departure provided that security, safety, and health protocols shall be observed.
• free shuttle service providers deployed by shipping companies will be allowed inside the port to serve inbound passengers and transport them to a drop-off area outside of the port where the passengers may take public transportation.
• spitting is prohibited while inside the port, its premises, including inside the passenger terminal and surroundings
“We appeal for patience, understanding, and cooperation from the public and all port users as we continue to do our best to help prevent further transmission of the coronavirus disease and at the same time provide effective and efficient port services,” Miole said.