The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH) to test incoming travelers for COVID-19 seven days from their arrival in the country.
“Naaprubahan ng IATF kahapon itong ating nirekomenda na magkaroon nitong (The IATF approved yesterday our recommendation for) seventh day testing, no testing upon arrival… and completed 10-day quarantine here at the national level,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online briefing.
Travelers would be then endorse to their respective local governments after the 10th day to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine in their hometown.
The DOH official said concerned agencies will create protocols for the enforcement of the new policy on COVID-19 testing for arriving travelers.
“Nagka-agree naman po lahat ng concerned agencies diyan na the soonest time possible ay maumpisahan natin itong ganitong protocol (The concerned agencies agreed to implement this protocol at the soonest time possible),” she said.
IATF okays COVID-19 testing on 7th day of arriving travelers
Meanwhile, the Philippine government will enforce travel restrictions on travelers coming from neighboring countries of India, in a bid to prevent the B.1.617 COVID-19 variant from entering the country.
Experts believe the B.1.617 variant is the cause of the record surge in India, which this week has hit more than 20 million total cases.
The World Health Organization designates B.1.617 as a “variant of interest”, which has also been dubbed a “double mutant.”
In a memorandum from the office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, it was said that it was also based on the recommendation of the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
From May 7, 2021 to May 14, 2021, all travelers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka within the past 14 days prior to arrival in the Philippines will not be allowed to enter the country first.
But if they arrive in the country before May 7, 2021, they will be allowed to enter the Philippines but they will have to undergo a 14-days facility-based quarantine and an RT-PCR test.