IATF shortens quarantine, scraps testing for travelers fully vaccinated in PH
The country’s pandemic response task force announced on Friday that all fully vaccinated inbound travelers who have been inoculated in the Philippines only need to undergo a 7-day quarantine instead of completing the 14-day facility-based isolation.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the new policy does not cover returning Filipinos and foreign nationals who have been fully vaccinated abroad. They still have to undergo a 10-day facility-based isolation and take a swab test on the 7th day.
For inbound travelers who have been vaccinated in the Philippines, an RT-PCR, or swab test, will only be done if they exhibit flu-like symptoms during their 7-day isolation in a quarantine facility, the Inter-Agency Task Force said.
It added that a person is considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after having a single-dose vaccine or the second shot for brands requiring two doses. The inbound traveler must carry a vaccination card, which must be verified prior to departure and checked upon arrival in the Philippines.
Policy for fully-vaccinated individuals
The Department of Health said there are still some restrictions on fully-vaccinated individuals as the country is still boosting the pace of inoculation. Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said United Kingdom and United States have vaccinated 40% and 30% of its population, respectively, so they can afford to remove restrictions.
She added health experts in the country are looking at waiting for the vaccination of 30% of the Philippines’ total population or even 50% of senior citizens before further easing rules on fully-immunized individuals.
“Dadating tayo sa point na pag na-reach natin ang threshold na ‘yan we will also have these liberal incentives for fully vaccinated… If ever, we will be implementing slowly and gradually para masiguro nating ligtas pa rin tayo sa banta ng COVID-19,” she said in a media briefing.
[Translation: When we reach that threshold, we will also have liberal incentives for those who are fully vaccinated. If ever, we will be implementing slowly and gradually to ensure we are still safe from the threat of COVID-19.]
The Philippines has administered a total of 5.18 million shots as of June 1, with 1,206,371 people having completed their second dose since the launch of the national program in March. The average daily administered doses is now at 144,000.