Gov't to formulate protocols for vaccinated inbound travelers

By: Genalyn Kabiling / MANILA BULLETIN


The government is preparing for the entry of international travelers fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to the Philippines.

An inter-agency group has been formed to craft the protocols governing the inbound travel of vaccinated individuals based on the latest decision of the government task force in charge of the pandemic response.

The decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) came as vaccination efforts around the world have stepped up to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

“A small working group is created to study and formulate protocols for inbound international travel of fully vaccinated individuals, and such other protocols that may be applicable to them,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

He added the group will be chaired by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and co-chaired by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The study group also includes the Department of Health and the Bureau of Quarantine, Department of Justice and the Bureau of Immigration, Department of Information Communications Technology, Department of Transportation, Office of the Presidential Adviser to the Peace Process being the Vaccine Czar, Department of Labor and Employment and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the Department of Trade and Industry.

The IATF has amended the testing and quarantine protocols for all incoming travelers in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

At present, all travelers regardless of vaccination status are required to undergo quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the country. “The first ten days of which shall be observed in a quarantine facility, with the remainder to be completed under home quarantine in their respective local government units of destination,” the IATF resolution read.

These passengers must also take a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on the seventh day of quarantine. “Notwithstanding a negative test result, the arriving traveler shall complete the facility-based quarantine period of ten (10) days,” the resolution read.

The testing and quarantine protocols have been revised as part of intensified efforts to guard against the spread of the new coronavirus variant first detected in India.