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Cebu Pacific and General Santos to begin pre-boarding COVID-19 tests

Cebu Pacific and General Santos to begin pre-boarding COVID-19 tests
Cebu Pacific and General Santos to begin pre-boarding COVID-19 tests
Written by Harry S. Johnson

Philippines’ airline, Cebu Pacific, introduced Test Before Boarding (TBB), so passengers can undergo antigen COVID-19 testing conveniently at the airport just before their flight. A first-of-its-kind in the Philippine, TBB aims to reduce the risk of infection between testing and boarding, finding infected passengers in a timelier manner.  Only passengers with negative antigen test results will be allowed to board the CEB aircraft. 

Together with the local government of General Santos, and in coordination with the Philippine Airport Diagnostic Laboratory (PADL), CEB has piloted TBB on December 03, 2020 for a two-week trial period. All CEB passengers flying from Manila to General Santos beginning December 03 to 14, 2020 will be required to undergo TBB, free-of-charge during the pilot run. This is in compliance with the Executive Order of General Santos; passengers no longer need to take any other test prior to their flight.

Paving the way in boosting travel confidence

“We welcome this development through Cebu Pacific, because it opens up more people to the idea of traveling again. We believe this will be a breakthrough initiative, as it will allow our residents to feel more secure and not be wary of arriving passengers from Manila,” said Mayor Ronnel Rivera of General Santos City.

CEB VP for Marketing and Customer Experience Candice Iyog said, “Safety has always been our topmost priority and in this current environment, health is part of safety. We look forward to the results of this pilot so we can pave way for a more confident restart of non-essential travel and a standardization of requirements across all Philippine destinations. We would also like to laud General Santos City for piloting Test Before Boarding with us.” 

Manila-General Santos pre-flight checklist and experience

Passengers must fill out an electronic passenger information form (E-PIF) through PADL’s portal and pre-register via Trace and Protect Action Team (TAPAT) System for non-residents entering General Santos at least 24 hours before their flight. They must also secure a travel authority to be allowed entry into the city, and check-in online before going to the airport, as part of Contactless Flight procedures. 

At the airport, guests must proceed to the testing facility located at Level 3 of the NAIA Terminal 3, five (5) hours before departure to give ample time for testing procedures. Once called for their turn, swab samples will be collected, with results to be released within 30 minutes. 

After completing the test, DOH-accredited PADL will provide passengers with a certificate showing the results of their Antigen test. They can then proceed straight to gate or bag drop counters until an hour before the scheduled time of departure at 1:05PM. 

Only guests with negative results will be allowed to board the flight, while those with positive results will be referred to another testing facility for confirmatory RT-PCR testing.

TBB is just one initiative in CEB’s multi-layered approach to safety. CEB continues to deploy world’s best safety practices to ensure guests can travel with peace of mind. This includes extensive daily disinfection of aircraft, HEPA air filters onboard that can filter out 99.99% of viruses, frequent cleaning of passenger surfaces at the airport and inflight, and enhanced self-service online portals so guests can easily manage flights.  Strict Contactless Flight procedures are also in place, such as boarding pass scanning, required online check-in and self-bag tag capabilities.