IATF issues new quarantine, testing protocols amid fears of Omicron variant

04-Dec-2021 Intellasia | PhilStar | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The country’s pandemic task force has issued new protocols for arriving travellers from countries or territories not on the government’s Red List.

The country issued the new guidelines amid fears of the Omicron coronavirus variant that has been detected in several countries. The Philippines has also closed its borders to several countries, as additional protocol.

The new guidelines took effect on December 3, acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said in a statement late Thursday night.

Fully vaccinated travellers

Fully vaccinated travellers should have a negative RT-PCR test result, taken within 72 hours prior to departure from the country of origin.

Upon arriving in the Philippines, they will undergo facility-based quarantine and undergo another RT-PCR test on the fifth day since their arrival. “Regardless of a negative result, they shall be required to undergo home quarantine up to the 14th day from the date of arrival,” Nograles added.

Partially vaccinated, unvaccinated

Partially vaccinated, those who have yet to be jabs or whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated are required to present a negative RT-PCR test result, taken within 72 hours prior to departure from the country of origin.

They will likewise be subjected to facility-based quarantine and take another RT-PCR test on the seventh day from their arrival. Even if they receive a negative test result, they are required to finish their quarantine at home up to the 14th day from their arrival.

Nograles also said the Department of Transportation has been tasked to ensure that only passengers who comply with the requirement of negative RT-PCR result prior to travel are allowed to board their flights.

Minors meanwhile will follow the testing and quarantine protocol of the parent or guardian travelling with them, regardless of the child’s vaccination status and country of origin, Nograles added.

International passengers who have already arrived and undergoing quarantine shall continue testing and other protocols in place at the time of their arrival.

Red List countries

Filipinos from Red List countries or territories can only enter the country through government-initiated or non-government repatriations, and Bayanihan flights. They can only deplane via Ninoy Aquino International Airport or Clark International Airport.

Nograles said the DoTr is also ordered to ensure airlines’ compliance to these protocols.

“Upon arrival, the individual shall comply with the testing and quarantine protocols as prescribed under IATF Resolution No. 149-A (s.2021),” he added.

Amended metrics

In the same statement, Nograles said the IATF also amended metrics for determining alert level classifications of provinces, highly urbanised cities and independent component cities.

Among the amendments are removing the following:

One-Week Growth Rate as a metric for escalation from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 2;

the escalation of areas under Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 2 if either case classification or total COVID-19 bed utilisation increases to moderate risk or higher;

and the escalation of areas under Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 3 if both case classification and total COVID-19 bed utilisation are at moderate risk, or if case classification is at high to critical risk.

Following the revised metrics, the province of Apayao shall be under Alert Level 2 from December 3 to 15.



Category: Philippines

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