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Duterte wants shorter quarantine for arriving travelers

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Duterte wants shorter quarantine for arriving travelers
Duterte said the mandatory 10-day quarantine at facilities is “too long.”
STAR / Edd Gumban, File

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte wants the quarantine period for arriving travelers shortened from 14 to seven days, citing the government’s spending on quarantine facilities, which includes expensive hotels.

Duterte said the mandatory 10-day quarantine at facilities is “too long.”

“If you can talk to the Task Force, is it really demanded of the moment? And is it really a compelling thing that you complete the 10-day detention?” the President said during a meeting with members of his Cabinet on Thursday night, citing the case of his doctor from the US who has just completed the 14-day quarantine.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año told Duterte that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is finalizing rules on allowing arriving travelers who are fully vaccinated to undergo five to seven-day quarantine.

“Good, Sir,” the President said in response to Año.

“After all, if it’s really the incubation period of a germ entering your body and it will manifest within seven days and beyond that, it’s no longer (COVID-19) it’s a different illness,” Duterte said.

The President said the existing quarantine has burdened the government, which must pay the hotels used as quarantine facilities.

“Also, our debts are adding up, because we are using upscale hotels. Manila Hotel, Diamond Hotel are not cheap,” he said.

Based on current IATF guidelines, inbound travelers from countries classified under the “green list” or those that are low risk for COVID-19 are qualified for seven-day facility-based quarantine.

Those coming from countries considered as “yellow risk” or moderate risk must undergo a 14-day quarantine composed of a 10-day facility-based quarantine and four-day home quarantine.

Bermuda is the only country which remains on the red list or high risk for COVID-19. Travelers from this country are barred from entering the Philippines from Oct. 1 to 15.

Countries included in the green list are American Samoa, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Chad, China (mainland), Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Hungary, Madagascar, Mali, Federated States of Micronesia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Niger, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Poland, Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands), Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sierra Leone, Sint Eustatius, Taiwan, Algeria, Bhutan, Cook Islands, Eritrea, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niue, North Korea, Saint Helena, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tokelau, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and Yemen.

“All other countries, territories, or jurisdictions that have not been mentioned are on the yellow list,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement on Thursday.

COVID-19 QUARANTINE
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