Filipinos vaccinated overseas vs COVID-19 required to go on quarantine upon arrival in PH

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2021 09:13 AM | Updated as of Jan 03 2021 09:37 AM

A limited number of passengers pass through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City on December 22, 2020. The volume of passengers going to the provinces for the holidays drastically dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Returning Filipinos who have received a COVID-19 vaccine or have a negative swab test result will still undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration said Sunday.

The Philippines earlier expanded its travel restrictions to 21 territories to prevent the entry of a more contagious coronavirus variant.

Several countries in the list, including the US and the UK, have begun their respective COVID-19 vaccination programs.

"Sa ngayon po, wala pa po tayong guidelines with regard to that (those already vaccinated). Even yung mga nagpapakita ng negative RT-PCR test, they would still have to undergo the quarantine period, (at) kahit yung mga nabakunahan ngayon," Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(We currently have no guidelines with regard to those already vaccinated. Even those who present a negative RT-PCR test, they would still have to undergo the quarantine period, as with those who have been vaccinated.)

"We’re taking our cue po from the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19) . If they see there’s a need to adjust the policies already following this development, we’ll be ready naman po to comply."

Filipinos who had a layover in the 21 areas on which Manila imposed travel restrictions will be allowed to enter the Philippines but will also have to undergo quarantine, Sandoval said.

"Kung galing lang po sila doon sa 21 countries at nag-layover po, meaning di po sila lumabas ng airport, hindi sila cleared ng immigration dun at merely nag-transit po, pwede na po sila papasukin ng bansa. But they would still have to undergo po the regular procedures ng ating one-stop shop," she said.

(If they only had a layover in one of the 21 countries and did not go out of the airport, got cleared by the immigration there, and merely transited, they may enter the country. But they would still have to undergo the regular procedures set by our one-stop shop.)

"They need to be swabbed, yung RT-PCR test natin. At saka, meron din pong quarantine period... Pwede na po doon na lang sa kanilang mga bahay, mag-home quarantine if negative po ang result ng RT-PCR nila," she added.

(They need to be swabbed for RT-PCR test. And there's quarantine period... They can go on home quarantine if they get a negative RT-PCR test result.)

Foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals who have history of travel in one of the 21 areas will not be allowed to enter the Philippines, Sandoval said.

"If traveling with a foreign national, their spouse or children, but nanggaling sa 21 countries, kahit po may travel history sila dun within 14 days, hindi po papapasukin yung foreign national dito po sa bansa," she said.

(If the Filipino is traveling with a foreign national, their spouse or children, and came from one of the 21 countries, if they have travel history there within 14 days, the foreign national cannot enter the country.)

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