IATF reminds regions: Follow quarantine protocols for arriving travelers
This 2020 file photo shows a terminal at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport
File photo

IATF reminds regions: Follow quarantine protocols for arriving travelers

(Philstar.com) - June 18, 2021 - 11:10am

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s pandemic response task force on Friday reminded local governments to implement its quarantine protocols for arriving international passengers.

President spokesperson Harry Roque, in a statement, said the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases reiterated “the strict enforcement of current testing and quarantine protocols duly approved and issued by the IATF for inbound international travelers in all ports of the country.”

Roque said this is "regardless of any specific protocols that may be issued the local government units [to] the contrary."

He added that member agencies of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 “have been instructed to ensure strict adherenece to the abovementioned directive.”

This covers the Departments of the Interior and Local Government, of Health, of Tourism, of Transportation and of Labor and Employment, the Bureau of Quarantine, the Overseas of Workers Welfare Administration, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines and their regional and attached offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations.

Cebu told to follow national task force rules

The statement comes days after Roque said that President Rodrigo Duterte  "has decided that the IATF protocols must be implemented by the Cebu province."

Under current IATF protocols, returning Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers will undergo quarantine for at least 10 days and take a swab test on the seventh day since their arrival.

Earlier, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued an executive order requiring Filipino arriving at the Mactan Cebu International Airport to undergo swab tests upon arrival. After the swab tests, they will be taken to a hotel where they will stay for three days to wait for the results.

The Cebu provincial government later amended its protocol and included another swab test on the seventh day of arrival.

Eased quarantine for fully-vaccinated people pushed back

In the same statement, Roque also said that the IATF pushed back the effectivity date of its directive on the testing and shortened quarantine protocols for inbound travelers who were fully vaccinated in the Philippines to June 22.

This is in consideration of “the full rollout of the process of validation of vaccination certificates,” he added.

Roque first announced the eased protocols for fully vaccinated inbound passengers on June 4.

Under the IATF guidelines, they will go through a seven-day facility-based quarantine and only take an RT-PCR COVID-19 test if they show symptoms within this period.

A person is deemed fully vaccinated after at least two weeks since receiving the second dose of vaccine, or two or three weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine. — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from The STAR/Alexis Romero

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