IATF eases travel requirements

IATF eases travel requirements
In this photo taken on Oct. 1, 2020, residents arrive in Borocay, central Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s pandemic task force has eased travel requirements in adopting uniform rules for travelers.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said travelers would no longer have to be tested for COVID-19, unless the local governments of their destination would require them to.

The IATF also said that travelers would no longer have to undergo quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms upon arrival at their destination.

A travel authority issued by the Joint Task Force COVID Shield and health certificates are also no longer required.

The task force mandated authorities to continue strictly implementing minimum public health standards, such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and wearing of face masks and face shields across all settings.

The eased travel requirements come as the Philippines has been recording on average around 1,600 new COVID-19 cases per day since November and faces the threat of new, more infectious variants of the coronavirus.

Health officials have also confirmed the detection of two mutations of the virus that causes COVID-19, but their public health implications are still unknown.

The Philippines has the second-worst outbreak of COVID-10 in Southeast Asia, with over 570,000 cases and over 12,000 deaths. — Xave Gregorio

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