Starting February 1, a new rule is implemented regarding the travelers arriving in the Philippines.
Department of Health and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, that passengers are no longer required to take the COVID-19 test upon their arrival. Instead, they are taken to a facility to be quarantined, only after 5 days, will they undergo a swab test.
Roque said, "Arriving passengers, regardless of their origin, shall be required to undergo facility-based quarantine upon arrival. They shall then undergo RT-PCR test on the fifth day from their date of arrival in the country unless the passenger shows symptoms at an earlier date while on quarantine."
Furthermore, he said, "Once a passenger tested negative, the passenger shall be endorsed to the local government unit of destination where the passenger shall continue the remainder of the 14-day quarantine under the strict monitoring of the LGU."
A new rule is added to avoid the UK variant from further spreading, as the index case was first tested negative. The Department of Health recommended the fifth day as a second test for the passengers arriving in the Philippines.
Though passengers are allowed to undergo swab testing upon their arrival if they feel unwell or if they are under "high suspicion" of having the symptoms.
"Ang kailangan po nating maintindihan, iyong ating prinsipyo na isolation first. As long as we isolate them, even though they are positive, we are assured na naka-confine lang sa kuwartong iyon ang sakit at hindi makakapanghawa," stated by the Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Vergeire said that upon people's arrival though tested negative in the RT-PCR test which is considered as the "gold standard", the virus could still be in incubation period hence the fifth-day test.