The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has allowed Filipino citizens from "red list" countries to return to the Philippines from Jan. 16 to Jan. 31, subject to quarantine protocols, Malacañang announced on Jan. 14.
"Napagdesisyunan na kahit sa red list countries na (may) Filipinos, we will now allow them to come in, as long as they comply with the red list protocols," acting palace spokesman Karlo Nograles said in a televised public briefing.
Nograles clarified that the new policy effectively lifted the previous total ban on red list countries that included even Filipinos. International tourists, he noted, aren't still allowed to enter the country.
Previously, the IATF prohibited the entry of international passengers coming from red list countries, except if they're Filipinos via Bayanihan flights, or the government's repatriation efforts.
"Di na kailangan maghintay ng Bayanihan flights ng ating mga kababayan," Nograles said.
Under IATF Resolution No. 157, arriving passengers overseas, regardless of vaccination status, should present a negative RT-PCR result taken within 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin.
Upon arrival, fully vaccinated travelers from the red and yellow lists must undergo a facility-based quarantine.
Red list travelers must take another RT-PCR test on the seventh day, with the date of arrival as first day. When negative for COVID-19, travelers may complete the rest of their 14-day quarantine at home.
Yellow list travelers, meanwhile, shall get tested on the fifth day. If negative, they may complete the rest of their seven-day quarantine at home.
As for green list travelers, they won't have to undergo facility-based quarantine anymore. They will instead self-monitor for any sign or symptoms for seven days.
For unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers in the red list, they must undergo a full 10-day facility-based quarantine, regardless of another negative test result. They must complete the rest of their 14-day quarantine at home.
Those in the yellow list will spend time in a facility-based quarantine, with RT-PCR testing on the seventh day. Upon the release of a negative test result, they may finish their 14-day quarantine at home.
Unvaccinated individuals in the green list, meanwhile, will undergo a facility-based quarantine and RT-PCR testing on the fifth day. Once discharged for negative results, they will have to self-monitor until the 14th day since their arrival.
Here's the IATF's updated list of green, yellow, and red countries:
(Yoniel Acebuche and Nick Garcia)