Shorter quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers from North America urged

Shorter quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers from North America urged
This undated image shows travelers walking in an airport.
Pixabay / Skitterphoto

MANILA, Philippines — An adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte called on the pandemic task force to implement shorter quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers from North America. 

This proposal, according to Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, would encourage people to make travel plans and celebrate Christmas with their family in the Philippines.

“With the Christmas season fast approaching, it’s now high time for the government to consider shorter quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers from other countries, especially North America,” said Concepcion.
“The aviation industry is on the brink of collapse. If we don’t help the airline industry now, we might face a huge problem on how to travel in the future,” he added.

Major airline groups earlier requested the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to consider placing North America on the list of green countries since it is one of their biggest markets. 

Philippine Airlines, in a meeting with Concepcion, said the flag carrier had earned $1 billion from the region alone before the pandemic.

The aviation industry has also asked the government to relax some rules to help encourage Filipinos to travel, especially those who are fully vaccinated.

PAL, represented by President and COO Gilbert Sta. Maria and Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Planning Officer Dexter Lee, proposed a new protocol to reduce risk and cost to passengers of international flights.

Under the proposal, passengers will be tested 72 hours before departure to help reduce positivity rate and risk and will undergo quarantine upon arrival. Passengers will be required to undergo the RT-PCR test on the third day. If the result is negative, they can go out of the quarantine facility on the fifth day and continue home quarantine.

This proposal would help passengers save as much as P25,000 pesos aside from enjoying a more comfortable quarantine in the comfort of their own home.

Allowing vaccinated people to travel will not only help revive the transport sector but also the local tourism industry.

“By allowing more mobility to the vaccinated, many people who are relying on tourism for their livelihood can earn enough money for their everyday needs,” Concepcion said.

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