COVID-FREE DESTINATIONS. Some of the 249 hospitality workers and boatmen in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu wait for their turn to undergo reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test for Covid-19 in a hotel on the historical island on Oct. 12 and 13. Mayor Junard Chan on Thursday (Oct. 15, 2020) assured visitors of Covid-free tourist destinations and amenities. (Photo courtesy of Lapu-Lapu City TCHAC)

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – Mayor Junard Chan on Thursday assured visitors that all destinations and amenities in the historical island city are coronavirus disease (Covid-19)-free.

In a radio interview, Chan said 249 hotel and resort workers and boatmen have undergone reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests as the city is anticipating the reopening of tourism activities through the Balik Turismo program.

“We registered the motorbanca authorized to do the island hopping activities to make sure they operate with Covid-free crew. We give them a special permit after their crew undergo swab test,” the mayor said.

Chan also said motorboats allowed to operate were directed to follow certain protocols such as procedures in conducting contact tracing, sanitizing the boat before boarding, and limiting the number of passengers on board.

The Tourism, Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (TCHAC) said in an advisory on Thursday the key tourism players in the city supported the tourism reopening program by having their workers undergo swab test.

The tests were done on Oct. 12 and 13, the TCHAC said.

TCHAC chairperson Cindi King-Chan said the swab testing on said employees is aimed at ensuring the safe reopening of hotels and resorts here.

“The (Mayor Junard) Chan administration continuously implements active programs for good community hygiene such as wearing masks, access to hand sanitizers, and social distancing,” she said in a statement.

TCHAC earlier unveiled the “Balik Turismo Travel Fair” happening on Oct. 17, which offers big discounts on staycations at the famous hotels and resorts in Mactan.

TCHAC, together with the City Health Department, has been inspecting the health and hygiene readiness of hotels and resorts here before they are allowed to resume operations.

“Matching with that, the Balik Turismo Task Force ensures and is highly equipped to transition and reopen the tourism industry of Lapu-Lapu,” Chan said.

The city government here has been coordinating with the tourism office to identify the hotels and resorts for the swab testing of their employees. (PNA)