MANILA — The Philippines has allowed the entry of travelers from territories with high COVID-19 risk, which are included in a so-called "Red List," government said on Friday.
Authorities previously barred travelers from Red List areas from entering the Philippines, except for Filipinos who are returning via repatriation efforts or "bayanihan" flights.
"Pinapayagan na po ang inbound international travel ng lahat ng [galing] sa Red List within the last 14 days prior to arrival to any port in the Philippines," said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
(The inbound international travel of all individuals from Red List areas within the last 14 days prior to arrival to any port in the Philippines is now allowed.)
All travelers — whether from the Red, Green or Yellow list areas — are required to present a negative result from an RT-PCR test taken 48 hours before their departure from country of origin, said Nograles.
Authorities previously required these tests to be taken 72 hours before departure. These test results “shall be honored until Jan. 19, 2022, 12:01 a.m.,” Nograles said.
Fully vaccinated travelers from Red List areas are required to stay in a facility quarantine and take another RT-PCR test on the 7th day. They can be discharged once they get negative test results, provided they stay on home quarantine up to 14th day from date of arrival.
Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers, or those whose inoculation cannot be validated, have to stay in quarantine and take an RT-PCR test on the 7th day.
They can only be discharged after completing a 10-day quarantine, regardless of a negative test result. They will then observe home quarantine until the 14th day, he said.
Asked why the Philippines lifted its ban on travelers from Red areas, Nograles said, "Mayroon na po tayong cases ng omicron at marami po tayong mga kababayan, halimbawa, na nasa Red List countries na gusto nang umuwi."
(We already have omicron cases and many of our compatriots, who are, for example, in Red List countries, want to go home.)
"'Pag umuwi po sila dito sa atin at sumunod strictly doon sa ating quarantine protocols para sa Red List, then we are assured naman na mas mababantayan natin na kung positive man sila ‘no if ever... Before we let them out of isolation or quarantine, then we’re sure na wala na silang dala na COVID," he added.
(If they go home here and strictly follow our quarantine protocols for the Red List, then we are assured we can monitor them if they ever test positive. Before we let them our of isolation or quarantine, then we're sure they do not have COVID.)
Video courtesy of PTV
WHICH TERRITORIES ARE ON THE RED, GREEN LIST?
The Red List will include the following areas from Jan. 16 to 31, said Nograles.
Antigua and Barbuda
Puerto Rico (US)
US Virgin Islands
Meanwhile, the following territories will be part of the Green List, Nograles said.
All other areas are part of the Yellow List.
PROTOCOLS FOR GREEN, YELLOW LIST COUNTRIES
Authorities earlier said the Green List includes areas with low COVID-19 risk.
Nograles said fully vaccinated travelers from Green List territories are not required to go on quarantine. However, they need to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 7 days.
He said unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers from Green areas, or those whose inoculation cannot be validated, must go on facility quarantine until they get the result of an RT-PCR test taken on the fifth day. They are also required to self-monitor for symptoms until the 14th day.
Full vaccinated passengers from Yellow territories are required to stay in a quarantine facility and take an RT-PCR test on the fifth day. Once they receive a negative result, they can be discharged for completion of home quarantine up to the 7th day, Nograles said.
He said unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers from Yellow areas, or those whose inoculation cannot be validated, must stay in a facility quarantine and take an RT-PCR test on the seventh day. After getting their negative result, they can be released for home quarantine up to the 14th day.