PH New Rules for fully vaccinated travellers

PH New Rules for fully vaccinated travellers

Fully vaccinated individuals coming from "Green" or low-risk countries will have a shorter mandatory quarantine period of only seven days in a government-accredited facility upon their arrival in the Philippines.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), in its Resolution 123-C, approved on Monday, agreed to shorten the quarantine period for fully vaccinated individuals traveling to the Philippines from "Green" countries starting tomorrow, July 1, 2021.

The new rules will cover individuals who were fully vaccinated in the Philippines regardless of their travel history and people fully vaccinated abroad who "stayed exclusively" in "green countries" in the past 14 days before arrival.

Under IATF-EID Resolution 123-C, "Green" countries are classified by the Department of Health as"  'Low Risk' countries or jurisdictions based on disease incidence rate."

Proving vaccination status

Those fully vaccinated in the Philippines must carry their vaccination card, which should be verified before their departure by a certification issued through the Department of Information and Communications Technology's "Certificate of Vaccination Record Portal."

It can also be verified through the local government unit's city health officer, which administered the complete vaccination.

Meanwhile, the resolution states that those fully vaccinated abroad must also carry their official documentation of complete vaccination validated through the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) in their respective jurisdictions or present their international certificate of vaccination, whichever is applicable.

Quarantine

According to IATF-EID, all qualified arriving individuals must undergo a seven-day quarantine in government-approved facilities, with day one being the arrival date.

The task force also directed the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) to ensure strict symptom monitoring in the facility for seven days.

"Required pa ring sumailalim sa pitong araw na facility-based quarantine pagdating sa bansa, whether fully vaccinated sa Pilipinas or abroad," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said.

(They are still required to undergo facility-based quarantine for seven days upon their arrival in the country, whether fully vaccinated in the Philippines or abroad.)

After completing the seven-day quarantine period, travelers must continue to monitor themselves for any symptoms in the next seven days.

Upon completion of quarantine, the BOQ will issue a quarantine certificate indicating the person's vaccination and quarantine status.

Testing

Individuals must undergo reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing on the fifth day of the facility-based quarantine, the IATF said.

"Should the RT-PCR test yield a negative result, the individual should complete the seven-day quarantine. If found positive, he/she should follow the prescribed isolation protocols," the IATF added.

The IATF also said that the RT-PCR testing on the fifth day would be subject to review after 30 days from implementation.

Before this new set of rules for vaccinated individuals, RT-PCR testing was only prescribed when the person developed COVID-19 symptoms during their quarantine period.

What you should know

A person is considered fully vaccinated so long as they have already received two Covid-19 shots.

Vaccines administered should also be in either a list of jabs with emergency use approval or a compassionate special permit by the Food and Drug Administration or included in the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergency use listing.

The Philippines, so far, approved for emergency use the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Moderna, the Gamaleya Research Institute, Johnson & Johnson, Bharat Biotech and donated Sinopharm vaccines.

Meanwhile, for individuals allowed to enter the Philippines but are not yet fully vaccinated, the IATF order requires unvaccinated travellers or those who have not completed their doses, to do a 14-day mandatory quarantine and undergo RT-PCR testing on the seventh day.

"All arriving fully vaccinated individuals not covered by the foregoing shall comply with the testing and quarantine protocols as prescribed under the pertinent provisions of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, as amended," the IATF-EID said in its new resolution.

Sources: PNA, PhilStar, Rappler


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