Philippines eases testing, quarantines COVID-19 protocols for inbound travelers

Malacañang endorsed the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) recommendation to facilitate testing and quarantine protocols for travelers entering the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on October 28, the Palace approved IATF Resolution 2 subject to strict compliance with other minimum health protocols and compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Under IATF Resolution 2, pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated incoming travelers, whether Filipino or foreign, will no longer be required.

Filipinos and foreign travelers will be considered fully immunized if they received the second dose of a two-dose series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine more than 14 days prior to the date and time of departure from the country of origin. or port of embarkation.

A fully vaccinated person must also possess and present one of the following proofs of vaccination: International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis from the World Health Organization, VaxCertPH, manual/digital national or state certificate from the country/foreign government and other proof of vaccination.

Persons who are unvaccinated, partially unvaccinated, or whose vaccination status could not be independently validated, should comply with the following:

• Filipinos and foreign nationals 15 years of age or older must present a negative rapid antigen result supervised remotely or in a laboratory administered and certified by a healthcare professional at a healthcare facility, laboratory, clinic, pharmacy or other similar establishment taken within 24 hours prior to the date and time of departure from the country of origin/first port of embarkation on a continuous journey to the Philippines, excluding stopovers ; provided that he has not left the premises of the airport or been admitted to another country during this stopover.

• Filipinos and foreign nationals 15 years of age or older who do not test negative before departure under the conditions stated above will be required to undergo a rapid negative antigen laboratory result administered and certified by a medical professional within a health facility, laboratory, clinic, pharmacy or other similar facility taken upon arrival at the airport.

• Accompanied minors under the age of 15 who are unvaccinated for any reason must follow the quarantine protocols of their parents or an accompanying adult/guardian traveling with them.

• Unaccompanied minors under the age of 15 who have not been vaccinated for any reason must follow the protocols set out in Section B (1) and (2) above.

Those who test positive by a rapid antigen test will be subject to the latest protocols from the Ministry of Health, the resolution says.

In the memo, the Palace instructed the Office of Quarantine, in coordination with the DOH and other agencies, to identify other acceptable proof of vaccinations to avoid confusion and inconvenience from incoming travelers. and facilitate the dissemination of public information.

Previously, the Marcos administration also made wearing a face mask optional inside and outside.

The directive was provided under Executive Order No. 7, marking the first time since March 2020 that the public has been given the option to wear face masks or otherwise indoors. —NB, GMA News


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