FILIPINO seafarers who came from countries subjected to travel restrictions because of the reported new variants of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, within 14 days immediately preceding their arrival in the country, are still allowed to disembark their ships.

However, they will be required to undergo an “absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period” even though they had a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result.

The Cebu Port Authority echoed the updated guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Jan. 12, 2021, on the conduct of sea vessel crew changes in the country to address the risks and threat posed by the new Sars-CoV-2 variants.

Only in Manila

These Filipino seafarers are allowed to disembark only at the Port of Manila and will be transported by their shipping agents to the designated quarantine facility via P2P under strict monitoring of the Philippine Coast Guard.

They will undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine in the facilities assigned by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or at the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City with accommodation expenses shouldered by the government.

The areas or countries subjected to travel restrictions by the Philippine government are Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman and the People’s Republic of China.

Ships coming from or that have rendered port of call from these areas or countries within 14 days preceding their arrival in the Philippines are temporarily restricted from disembarking their foreign seafarers until Jan. 15.

However, foreign seafarers coming from, or who have been to Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman and the People’s Republic of China within 14 days immediately before their arrival in the country, arriving before 12:01 a.m. (Manila Time) of Jan. 13, were allowed entry and were required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they had a negative RT-PCR test result.

Moreover, the DOTr said Filipino and foreign seafarers with no immigration admission in any of the countries listed above within the last two weeks preceding their arrival in the Philippines will be allowed to disembark subject to the existing health and safety protocol of the established one-stop shops for seafarers.

Meanwhile, embarkation to ships bound for the countries mentioned above will be subject to the existing exit protocol of the country and the entry protocol of the respective countries. (WBS)