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Gov't shortens quarantine period of inbound travelers fully vaccinated in the PH

By Bim Santos Published Jun 04, 2021 3:46 pm

The quarantine period of inbound travelers who have received their two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines has now been set at seven days under a new guideline by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF.

Under IATF Resolution No. 119, an individual is considered fully vaccinated "two or more weeks after receiving the second dose in a 2-dose series, or two or more weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine." 

The traveler must also carry his or her vaccination card, which should be verified prior to departure and presented to the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) for re-verification.

Upon arrival, the individual will then undergo a seven-day quarantine, down from the previous 14 days, and will only be required to have an RT-PCR test in case he or she exhibits COVID-19 symptoms.

After completing the seven-day facility-based quarantine, the BOQ will issue a quarantine certificate indicating the individual’s vaccination status.

The IATF has also directed the Department of Health, the Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Foreign Affairs, and the National Economic and Development Authority to convene and recommend how to further relax testing and quarantine protocols for certain classes of travelers.

Under the same resolution, the IATF also laid out possible exemptions to its travel ban covering travelers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. The travel ban was imposed to prevent the entry of the Indian variant of the coronavirus, which is now called Delta by the World Health Organization.

Under repatriations organized by the Philippine government from the said countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will spearhead the coordination of the repatriation for the returning overseas Filipino at least 48 hours prior to the departure from the country of origin.

For repatriations not under the initiative of the government, the returning traveler must present a negative RT-PCR at least 48 hours prior to departure, which will be submitted to the BOQ upon arrival before undergoing a 14-day quarantine. 

(Thumbnail and banner photo KJ Rosales / The Philippine Star)