EFFECTIVE Thursday, October 14, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to undergo facility-based quarantine, but will be enjoined to self-monitor for any coronavirus disease (Covid-19) symptoms for 14 days.
These new rules will apply only to “Green List” countries based on Resolution 143 of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., however, said these will take effect for only one day because the "Green List" is up for review on Friday, October 15.
For fully vaccinated foreign nationals, a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test is required 72 hours prior to departure from the country of origin.
Fully vaccinated returning Filipinos, on the other hand, have two options: present a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure from country of origin to do away with the facility-based quarantine requirement; or undergo RT-PCR test upon arrival and facility-based quarantine until a negative result is released.
A person is considered fully vaccinated against Covid-19 after 14 days of receiving a single-dose vaccine or the second dose of a two-dose vaccine.
Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers as well as those whose vaccination status could not be verified would need to undergo facility-based quarantine, Roque said in a press briefing Thursday.
They will be swabbed on the fifth day and released when a negative test result is issued. They are then required to self-monitor for the remainder of 14 days.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated minors traveling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians are required to observe quarantine protocols. They must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the quarantine facility.
Filipino travelers, including overseas Filipino workers, and family members traveling with them who were vaccinated in the Philippines or abroad may present either their VaxCertPH digital vaccination certificate, International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICV) issued by the Bureau of Quarantine or World Health Organization, or the national digital certificate issued by the foreign government where they were vaccinated.
This also applies to foreign nationals who were vaccinated in the Philippines.
Foreign nationals who were vaccinated abroad may present the ICV or the national digital certificate of the foreign government which has accepted the VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement.
Reacting to reports quoting Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III as saying that he did not endorse these new rules because he was not present during the IATF meeting, Roque said a lot of Cabinet members were not present because they were in Davao City for what they thought was a Talk to the People address by President Rodrigo Duterte.
"But Dr. Edsel Salvaña was in the meeting and he was the one who manifested that the risk of Covid transmission is minimal in 'Green List' countries," Roque said. Other DOH officials who were present in the meeting were Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire and Epidemiology Bureau Director Alethea de Guzman, he added.
Countries in the "Green List" are those with few cases of Covid-19, such as China, New Zealand, Nauru, Eritrea, Tajikistan, Tonga, Bhutan, Falkland Islands and other countries considered low risk for Covid-19. Roque said very few Filipinos come from these "Green List" countries.
He stressed that the United States is in the "Yellow List," which includes moderate risk countries. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)