Shorter quarantine, swab test on 5th day for travelers fully vaccinated abroad

By CNN Philippines Staff

Travelers who have been fully vaccinated overseas against COVID-19 shall undergo shorter quarantine period effective July, the country’s pandemic task force has announced.

In its latest resolution, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said individuals who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination abroad and have stayed exclusively within “green” countries or low-risk ones 14 days prior to their arrival will be subject to a seven-day facility-based quarantine.

They will be strictly monitored for symptoms while under a week-long quarantine, according to the IATF, then asked to self-monitor for another seven days. Passengers must undergo RT-PCR testing on their fifth day under quarantine in the accredited facility, the task force added.

Kung sakaling magnegatibo, kailangan pa ring kumpletuhin ang pitong araw ng facility quarantine,” IATF and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque pointed out. “At kung sakali namang magpositibo, kinakailangang sundin ang prescribed isolation protocols.”

[Translation: Should they test negative, they still need to complete the seven-day facility quarantine. And should they test positive, they need to observe the prescribed isolation protocols.]

The testing requirement will undergo review 30 days after its implementation, added Roque.

After seven days of facility quarantine, travelers will receive a quarantine certificate from the Bureau of Quarantine wherein their vaccination status is also indicated.

The IATF earlier shortened the mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated inbound travelers who have received COVID-19 shots in the Philippines. However, they were only supposed to get swabbed if they exhibited flu-like symptoms during their seven-day stay in a quarantine facility. 

Roque said fully vaccinated passengers, whether they finished their inoculation here or abroad, must always have with them proof of vaccination status.

For those who got fully vaccinated in the Philippines, they must bring their vaccination cards which should be verified prior to their departure from the country.

They must also secure a certificate from the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s certification vaccination record portal, or the city health officer who administered the full vaccination.

Meanwhile, individuals who completed their inoculation outside the country must present official documents stating they have been vaccinated.

The traveler must either get the documents validated with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, or present an international certificate of vaccination.

The documents must then be presented to the dedicated Bureau of Quarantine representative in the Department of Transportation’s one-stop shop for re-verification, added Roque.

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