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Last Updated: 13 MARCH 2021

The Mactan Cebu International Airport (sometimes referred to simply as Cebu Airport) is one of the biggest hubs and busiest airports in the Philippines. It serves as a key gateway to the country, especially the the Central Visayas Region.

Just like most major airports around the world, Cebu Airport has been implementing stricter safety and health guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re traveling to Cebu from abroad, here’s what you need to prepare prior to your trip and what to expect upon arrival at the airport.


Prior to your travel date, make sure that you have taken care of the following:

  • Accomplished Online MCIA Passenger Arrival Registration Form. All passengers MUST complete and submit this form within five (5) days prior to your arrival date. Once done, you will be presented a Travel Reference Number (TRN) and barcode. Take note of it or take a screenshot. You can find the form here!
  • TRAZE App. This is the mandatory app for passengers using any of the airports in the Philippines. More info about how to download and use here: TRAZE APP!
  • Confirmed booking at a DOH-Accredited Hotel for quarantine, for minimum of seven (7) days. This is applicable only to non-OFW Filipinos and foreign nationals. Cost to be shouldered by the traveler. See: LIST OF DOH-ACCREDITED QUARANTINE HOTELS IN CEBU!
  • COVID-19 RT-PCR Swab Test Payment of P4,100.00, to be settled upon arrival or pre-paid. Applicable to non-OFW Filipinos and foreign nationals only.

Note that you WILL be undergoing a mandatory swab test on the fifth day after your arrival date.

For land-based OFWs, register with the OFW Assistance Information System (OASIS) on the OWWA website.


1. Accomplish the necessary forms.

Before arrival in Cebu, fill out these forms. These will be distributed by the flight crew, so you may accomplish them during the flight.

  • Immigration Arrival Card
  • Health Declaration Form

2. Listen to the Arrival Briefing.

As soon as you land, you will be required to undergo a briefing led by the Bureau of Quarantine.

This will explain to you the whole process and what to expect in the coming days.

3. Proceed to the Validation Counter.

After the briefing, present the following at the Validation Counter.

  • Travel Reference Number (TRN) or Barcode, which was generated when you completed the Online MCIA Passenger Arrival Registration Form we mentioned earlier.
  • Boarding Pass
  • Passport
  • Health Declaration Form
  • Proof of hotel booking

You will be given a a printed barcode. Keep it until the date of your swab test (5th day).

4. Go through thermal scanning.

Your temperature will be checked by the BOQ staff.

5. Clear Immigration check.

After thermal scanning, make your way to the Immigration counters for the routine Immigration inspection. Prepare to present your passport and submit the Arrival Card you filled out earlier.

6. Approach the Arrival Reclaim counters.

Once you’re through Immigration, approach the counter at the Arrival Reclaim Hall:

  • For OFWs, the OWWA Counter, where you will be told the quarantine hotel assigned to you.
  • For non-OFWs and Foreign Nationals, proceed to the cashier counter and settle the swab test fee. PHP and visa cards are accepted. If you have neither, you may stop at the foreign exchange counter first at the Arrivals area.

7. Pick up your luggage.

At the Baggage Claim area, approach the assigned luggage belt and pick up your bags.

8. Proceed to the assigned waiting area.

Wait for a representative from the following:

  • For OFWs, OWWA representative
  • For non-OFWs and foreign nationals, staff from your booked quarantine hotel

9. Clear Customs check.

Proceed to the Customs counter for clearance. The OWWA or hotel representative will accompany you as you exit.

10. Transfer to your hotel.

The OWWA/hotel representative will take you to the service vehicle, which will take you to your quarantine hotel.

Check in at the hotel. Note that some hotels may have additional protocol so contact them before your trip to be prepared.

You will be staying at this hotel until your swab test result is released.

11. Undergo COVID-19 swab test on Day 5.

Five days after your arrival in Cebu, submit the barcode given to you at the airport to the medical personnel for swab testing. This will be done at the hotel.

12. Wait for the result of the test.

This should take 24 to 48 hours. The result will be sent to the email address that you entered when you accomplished the registration form prior to the trip.

If positive, you will be given further instructions by the Bureau of Quarantine.

If you have questions about the test result, you may reach out to the BOQ at or call (032) 494-7000, 7688 to 7690.

13. Proceed to your destination.

If swab test result is negative, coordinate with the local government of your destination regarding transportation and completion of the 14-day quarantine. LGUs sometimes have their own policies so it’s best to ask them directly. For example, Cebu City has sets of rules completely separate from the rest of the province.

  • For OFWs, coordinate with your Local Manning Agency or with OWWA if you need help with transportation.
  • For non-OFWs, you’re most likely to shoulder the transportation costs to your home.
  • For PAL passengers who are originally bound for Manila but rerouted to Cebu, PAL will take you on the next available flight to your final point of arrival. Call PAL’s Cebu Hotline at +6332 340-0191 (available from 8 AM to 8 PM) for changes to the connecting flight.

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Yoshke Dimen
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hi. for returning OFW. are we allowed to chose the quarantine facility? or they will be the one to assign me? thanks.


hi, about flights to manila but rerouted to cebu do i have to call pal hotline also even if my flight is via qatar airways?


Hi, I’m traveling to Manila but reroute to cebu. my question is as per the information does the returning to Manila is Free? I’m OFW together with my son,


Hi for OFW dubai to manila rerouted to cebu,do we need to book a connecting flight going to bacolod?