By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has updated the testing and quarantine protocols for all international passengers entering the Philippines.
The new guidelines, which were included in IATF-EID Resolution 149-A approved Thursday, were approved to ensure the continued drop in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections and stop the further spread of the coronavirus variants in the country.
In an online press conference, acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the interim testing and quarantine protocols for inbound travelers will take effect on Nov. 22.
Fully-vaccinated Filipinos coming from “green” states or jurisdictions who fail to take a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test 72 hours prior to their departure must undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative test result, Nograles said.
“After this, the individual is enjoined to self-monitoring until the 14th day of their arrival with the date of arrival being the first day,” Nograles added.
Nograles said fully-vaccinated Filipinos with negative RT-PCR test results taken within 72 hours prior to their departure from green countries or jurisdictions are not required to undergo facility-based quarantine and take another RT-PCR test.
On the other hand, fully-vaccinated foreigners from green states or jurisdictions are required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure and no longer need to observe facility-based quarantine and take another RT-PCR test upon arrival, Nograles said.
“But the passenger is enjoined to self-monitor for any symptoms until the 14th day, again, with the first day being the date of arrival,” he said.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals, as well as those with unverified vaccination status, are required to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of a negative RT-PCR test taken on their fifth day in the Philippines and self-monitor until their 14th day of staying in the country.
“All passengers whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through non-green list jurisdictions, shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to the said country, territory or jurisdiction if they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry by its immigration authorities,” Nograles said.
Nograles said fully-vaccinated individuals coming from yellow countries or territories who have pre-departure RT-PCR tests are required to undergo facility-based quarantine and take an RT-PCR test after three days.
“Upon release of a negative RT-PCR test, they may be discharged from facility quarantine. After which they are enjoined to self-monitor up to the 14th day from date of arrival,” he said.
If without a negative pre-departure test result, passengers from yellow states or jurisdictions are mandated to undergo facility-based quarantine and take a test after five days, Nograles said.
Nograles said they may be discharged from the quarantine facility upon the release of a negative RT-PCR test result, but they still have to undergo home quarantine until the 10th day since their arrival.
“Individuals who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated are to undergo facility-based quarantine with an RT-PCR test done on the seventh day with the date of arrival being the first day,” he said. “Upon the release of a negative RT-PCR test, individual shall be required to undergo home quarantine until the 14th day from date of arrival.”
Nograles said inbound passengers staying in red countries and jurisdictions for the past 14 days will not be allowed to enter the Philippines, regardless of their vaccination status.
He said the restrictions do not cover Filipinos returning to the country through government-initiated or non-government-initiated repatriation and Bayanihan Flights.
Those exempted from the travel restrictions, however, are required to observe a 10-day facility-based quarantine upon arrival and take RT-PCR test on their seventh day in the country, Nograles said.
“Passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners merely transiting through Red List nation, shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to said country/territory/jurisdiction or if they stayed in the airport the entirety of their layover and were not cleared by its Immigration authorities,” he said.
Nograles said minors, regardless of their vaccination status and country of origin, should follow the testing and quarantine protocols observed by their parent or guardian traveling with them. (PNA)