As a Cebuano who has traveled around Cebu since its tourism re-opened last July-August 2020, I initially found it difficult and confusing. Despite the government’s efforts to boost again our local tourism, it’s still not easy to travel as policies frequently change. But don’t fret. Here’s a guide to help you have a less stressful traveling in Cebu as we support and travel local this 2021.
But before we begin answering the frequently asked questions on local traveling, you should first know that CEBU consists of four (4) independent political jurisdictions that have different policies:
- Cebu City
- Lapu-Lapu City: Mactan Island except Cordova
- Mandaue City
- Cebu Province (biggest among the 4): All towns and municipalities in entire Cebu except Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City
Most importantly, when you travel or even as soon as you step outside your homes, always make sure to wear your face masks and face shields and observe social distancing. These are the most basic requirements you should remember at all times. Let’s get started!
1. What are the requirements needed to visit an attraction in Cebu?
CEBU PROVINCE & LAPU-LAPU CITY:
- For PUBLIC attractions like beaches, waterfalls, and other natural attractions or tours (Oslob whale shark, canyoneering, etc.), it’s best to contact first the destination’s local government unit (LGU) Tourism department especially that policies per area frequently change due to the ongoing pandemic. This will also save you time as there are days a certain attraction is closed temporarily for a day or a week. Refer to the list of contact numbers per LGU at the end of the article.
- For PRIVATE destinations like resorts, beach houses and private stays, you must have a prior reservation or booking confirmation. Most property owners will also guide you with the other requirements needed by their LGU (if there’s any). Some resorts can also be booked online via Agoda.
- Most restaurants (if not all) can also now accommodate children and seniors.
The Cebu Province also has an Online Tourism Portal where you can conveniently book a travel experience online. Here’s the official link: https://discover.cebu.gov.ph/
CEBU CITY & MANDAUE CITY:
- For hotels and resorts in Cebu City & Mandaue, prior booking is required. This can be done online through the properties’ websites or through Agoda.
- For attractions like museums, flower gardens, and others, walk-ins are allowed but may be subject to the property’s availability and policies. Kids and seniors are not advised to travel.
2. Are kids and seniors now really allowed to travel?
YES, for areas in Cebu Province and Lapu-Lapu City. The kids and seniors can join the whole family when staying in a resort or hotel, or dining in.
NO, for areas in Cebu City and Mandaue City generally. Though these cities are also under MGCQ, the LGUs still impose age restrictions for leisure movements. “Generally” is emphasized here as some hotels and resorts allow children and seniors, while most (if not all) restaurants cannot accommodate them. It’s best to give the establishment a call first if you’d like to bring kids and seniors.
3. Is there a public transportation available?
- For south-bound travels, there are already buses at the South Bus Terminal near E-Mall in Cebu City.
- For north-bound travels, head on to the North Bus Terminal in its new location at SM City Cebu’s open parking lot (across Bayfront Hotel).
- For areas near Cebu City, there are already jeepneys (select routes) or you can hail a taxi/GrabCar.
Requirement for PUVs (bus/jeepneys/taxis) is wearing a face mask and face shield.
LAPU-LAPU CITY, MANDAUE & CEBU CITY:
Modern jeepneys and select public jeepneys have resumed operations. Requirement for PUVs is wearing a face mask and face shield.
4. Are there specific guidelines for beaches?
Beaches can be found in Cebu Province, in north and south parts of Cebu. These are the guidelines set by the Cebu Provincial Government for beaches:
- Only 50% of the maximum carrying capacity of the beach front area shall be occupied.
- Food and drinks are not allowed on the beach.
- Physical distancing must be followed at the premises and during swimming.
- There shall be a regular sterilization of all rented beach gear and equipment using Ultraviolet Germicidal Light. Instructions on the proper handling and use of sterilizing must be strictly observed.
As for Lapu-Lapu City or Mactan area, similar guidelines shall also be observed.
5. Is there a curfew?
Most public attractions are already closed past 5PM for safety reasons. However, generally for public places or private properties with outdoor settings, curfew is set within 12MN to 5AM the following day.
Malls in Cebu City are allowed to open until 10PM, while restaurants are permitted until 11PM.
CEBU TOURISM CONTACTS
Below is the latest list of Tourism Contacts per LGU in Cebu (as of January 2021):
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