Cebu News

IATF suspends protocols for 'green list' countries

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman
IATF suspends protocols for 'green list' countries

CEBU, Philippines —  All international travelers from “Green” countries will have to follow the testing and quarantine protocols set for yellow-listed countries effective immediately following the threats of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The new protocols will be in effect until December 15 based on the latest resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Resolution 151-A of the IATF states that passengers from Green List countries/territories/jurisdictions who arrived prior to November 28, 2021 may still follow quarantine protocols assigned to their country of origin upon the date of their arrival.

Along with this, IATF Resolution No. 150-A (s.2021) which provides the entry of fully vaccinated nationals of non-visa required countries under Executive Order No. 408 (s.1960) from Green list countries/jurisdictions/territories is also temporarily suspended.

The same resolution also expanded the list of countries under the “red list” where travel restrictions have been imposed.

The new list now includes South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy.

In a separate resolution, the IATF also approved the recommendations of the Task Force on COVID-19 Variants to strengthen local COVID-19 response.

To emphasize the need for active case finding, Local Government Units (LGUs) are strongly enjoined to heighten their alert for increasing and clustering of cases,  immediate isolation and contact tracing of cases detected from case surveillance among the community, including domestic and international travelers and to allow for whole-genome sequencing of collected samples, Reverse Transcription - Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESUs) were also directed to ensure targeted selection of samples for sequencing and address declining submissions of laboratories and regions from domestic and international travelers.

On the other hand, the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the LGUs were directed to identify and locate passengers who arrived within 14 days prior to November 29, 2021 from countries classified as red, and require them to complete quarantine under a home quarantine set-up for 14 days from date of arrival and undergo RT-PCR if symptoms develop. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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